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Theme: What is truly innovative technology

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 3, 2016

By Laura L. Polson, RN, BSN, CVAHP

Value Analysis teams are continually bombarded with requests for “new technology”. But when do you consider a medical device or capital equipment acquisition as a “new” innovation versus something substantially equivalent?

When a buyer gets a new item request, and you do not have this item in your purchasing system, it is not necessarily new. If the vendor exists in your database, chances are this is just another version of a current item, and if it’s merely a variance in size or formation, the VA team will not need to review this for approval.

When vendor partners design upgrades for current items, the VA team may need to review and see if the improvements and benefits outweigh the conversion/training efforts or potential increase in costs.

There are many variations on the criteria each Value Analysis professional may use to identify topics for their teams to review, but here are a few questions to consider which may indicate what’s new for you:

  • Does this device perform a function which you’ve not been able to do previously?
  • Does this device perform a procedure which has no current reimbursement codes?
  • Does this technology offer a significant innovation for an existing intervention?
  • Has your facility hired a new clinician with expanded skillsets, and how will you deal with all these additions if they leave?

There are technology conferences held every day showing new innovations. While we’ve seen amazing improvements with wireless, smaller batteries, robotics, treatment surfaces and physician preference items, hospitals still seem to function pretty much as we did in the past.

We must be able to look at the development cost and comprehend where to focus our future efforts. Will robots be educating patients with discharge instructions while texting new physician’s contact information to a cell device and scheduling a follow up appointment? Will advanced wound care grafts be printed in 3D to precisely fit while in the OR as a complete stem cell replacement? Will patient medications wirelessly communicate when they’ve been swallowed and chart their effectiveness? Can we watch our family member’s surgical procedure live on our smart phones? Will each bed function as a transport, lift/position, chair, therapeutic and bactericidal surface integration unit with sound interface and telemetry continuously monitoring all vital signs? You know it! Now, ….what will it cost, and how do we calculate its value?

Tags:  bactericidal  calucuate  clinician  cost  criteria  CVAHP  device  effectiveness  facility  family member  function  Laura L. Poison  professional  skillsets  teams  technology  therapeutic  Value Analysis 

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Do Your Surgeons Know the Price of Their Products?

Posted By Administration, Monday, February 2, 2015

by:  Sonja L. Glass, RN, BSN -Value Analysis Facilitator for Surgical Services Wake Forest Baptist Health

There was interest at our institution from Administration and Surgical Faculty to provide supply cost per procedure.  The hypothesis was that if we educated our Faculty on the price of products at the line item level that it would change practice.

As a result of this interest a “Surgical Case Cost Tracker” was internally developed by our Director of Supply Chain. This report is generated weekly for each surgeon and shows a summary of all of their cases for the previous week. 

The report provides case overviews related to details of the case number, date, OR suite, OR room, and the primary procedure name as well as the in-room time, OR time cost, and average time of all the Surgeons that perform cases including their total supply cost.  The cost shown is true to the unit level and all surgeons understand that pricing presented is confidential to our institution.

There has been a tremendous amount of positive feedback from our Faculty!  It is apparent our Surgeons are reviewing reports closely as there are many suggestions and comments such as “this product should be removed from my pick list, I didn’t realize that this product was that expensive, could you find a less costly alternative, had I known this product was this expensive I wouldn’t have used it, and I see we are using two different brands of these products therefore, can we get rid of the more expensive one and use only the more cost efficient product.”  When questions are raised, the Director will address or forward the information to Value Analysis Facilitator or other team members to research, answer, and address the concerns.

Writing the program was complex and initially there were some UOM issues such as a box of product instead of an each unit was reported.   Generating and sending the reports daily was initially very time consuming, but the current process of sending weekly summaries is more manageable.

End result, our surgeons are more engaged in the product selection and there is a new awareness of the importance of case cost.  Eventually our reports will share the per case cost of their colleagues that perform the same procedure.

Tags:  ahvap  AHVAP Conference  cost  health care  Healthcare  hospital  Hospitals  interprofessional sharing  Leading Practice of Value Analysis  Leading Practice of Value Analysis Health care int  materials management  Protocol  quality  quality patient care  Supply Chain  supply chain management  Surgical Services  value analysis  value analysis certification  Value Analysis Coordinator  value analysis professionals 

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Posted By Administration, Friday, October 24, 2014

By:  Susan A. Toomey, CMRP Value Analysis Coordinator 

What an exciting AHVAP Conference (Oct. 15-17) in Tampa, FL this year. The Value Analysis attendees received excellent key information revolving around the collaboration and pathway to success of Value Analysis.  Many great speakers included Wini Hayes, Dr. Jimmy Chung, Kathy Chauvin, Michael Neely,Barbara Strain, Courtney Bohman, Kevin Valis, Wanda Lane and to top it if off with Future Best Practices In Value Analysis by Dennis Orthman, Mary Potter & Cheri Berri Lesh.  In addition, the AHVAP conference sponsors have expanded,   collaborated with AHVAP attendees, and have changed the traditional vendor business relationships into valuable sponsor partnerships.   

If you didn't get the opportunity to attend the 2014 AHVAP Conference, please plan on attending the AHVAP Conference next year as AHVAP does an awesome job in providing education, networking, and standardization opportunities to increase the "Value" of the Value Analysis Professional!   

Tags:  ahvap  AHVAP Conference  alue analysis  alue analysis certification  alue analysis professionals  aterials Management  Barbara Strain  cost  eading Practice of Value Analysis  ealth care  ealthcare interprofessional  HAI  haring  health care  Healthcare  hospital  Hospital Acquired Infections  Hospitals  HVAP Conference  implants  interprofessional sharing  Leading Practice of Value Analysis  Leading Practice of Value Analysis Health care int  materials management  ost  owens and minor  Practice  Protocol  quality  quality patient care  recalls  resources  rotocol  Supply Chain  supply chain management  Surgical Services  uality  uality patient care  upply Chain  value analysis  Value Analysis Coordinator  value analysis professionals  Welcome 

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Posted By Administration, Monday, October 6, 2014

By: Julie Ware RN, BSN, CMRP- Implementation Manager


Each October, our nation’s healthcare industry recognizes healthcare supply chain professionals for their outstanding contributions to healthcare and the supply chain process.  This year, October 5 – 11 is National Healthcare Supply Chain Week and AHRMM, our collaborative partner, has chosen “Healthcare Supply Chain:  Integration Through Collaboration” as the celebration theme.   In most organizations, value analysis resides within the supply chain department and so many value analysis professionals will celebrate along with colleagues.


As I think about what we do every day in our world of value analysis and how we collaborate and connect with others, I really just want to say THANK YOU. I want to help honor you as our profession celebrates along with other supply chain professionals during National Healthcare Supply Chain Week. We have had another incredibly amazing year in healthcare supply chain and in AHVAP! The contributions you have made in your organizations through your value analysis processes are astounding.  Astounding, and yet humbling when you think about what it really means:  the impact you have made in the lives of people!  People, patients – those who come to your organization most often not out of choice.  I hope you feel appreciated for the very important role you play in their lives and in the delivery of high-quality, financially prudent patient care! 


I believe the ongoing changes in healthcare will provide us an even larger platform to “own” and collaborate with others in leading the redesign and efforts to improve patient health and organizational clinical and financial performance.  So our work never ends…. the journey continues. 


But for this week, for this month, smile a little bigger, stand a little taller, and KNOW you are making a difference TODAY in our world! 

Tags:  ahvap  AHVAP Conference  cost  health care  Healthcare  hospital  interprofessional sharing  Leading Practice of Value Analysis  materials management  Protocol  quality  quality patient care  Supply Chain  Surgical Services  value analysis  value analysis certification  Value Analysis Coordinator  value analysis professionals 

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AHVAP Panel Discussion - How Value Analysis is working for us! - Sept. 11th at 3:00 -4:300 ET

Posted By Susan A. Toomey, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Tuesday, September 23, 2014

By:  Mary E. (Beth) Potter, RN, BS, Director of Clinical Value Analysis                          Unity Point Health

If you were not one of the 42 members on the call, you missed a great presentation hosted by Hayes and presented by Kumbia Lewis, AHVAP Central Region Director, Dennis Mullins, MBA, CMRP Corporate Director, Supply Chain Integration, and Dr. Alan Weier, Medical Director of the emergency department at Baylor Regional Medical Center Plano, member of the system’s ED Council and member of the Baylor Quality Alliance ED sub-committee.

The Baylor Health Care System, based in Dallas, Texas and Scott & White Healthcare, based in Temple, Texas, formed a new organization in 2013 that combined the strengths of their two nationally recognized health systems. With 36,000 employees, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 500 patient care sites, 46 hospitals, 5216 licensed beds, and $5.8 Billion total net operating revenue, you can imagine the challenges Dr. Weier, Dennis, and Kumbia faced with the Product Line Standardization project.

Dr. Weier provided an overview of how he collaborated with the Value Analysis Team and Supply Chain Services to realize ED standardization while Dennis Mullins and Kumbia Lewis shared Baylor’s overview with Scott and White’s Value Analysis review including the decision steps that are navigated through the Supply Chain continuum.  The one statement that resonated for me was “If you are serious about hitting goals, you must have Administrative support.”

Cheri Berri-Lesh, AHVAP Western Region Director served as moderator for this very informative presentation.  A common theme in requests from members is for practical examples for application of Value Analysis processes.  This presentation certainly met that expectation.  Our thanks to Dr. Weier, Dennis, and Kumbia for sharing their experiences and lessons learned.

SAVE THE DATE: Next Regional Meeting is scheduled for December 11, 2:00-3:00 Central.

Tags:  ahvap  AHVAP Conference  cost  health care  Healthcare  interprofessional sharing  materials management  Protocol  quality  quality patient care  value analysis  value analysis certification  Value Analysis Coordinator  value analysis professionals 

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It's All in a Day's Work!

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 8, 2014
Updated: Monday, September 8, 2014

By Peg Tinker, MSA, LAC, LSW


Change is all around us and value analysis professionals don’t have to look far to realize that they are in a pivotal role when it comes to adding value within an organization.  The demand for professionals who have recognized knowledge, skills and abilities will only intensify as organizations demand more diligence to improve value and outcomes. 


Terms like:

·         Waste reduction,

·         Evidence based healthcare

·         Shared decision making

·         Strategic growth

·         Value based purchasing and more

Are all in a day’s work for today’s value analysis professional. 


That’s precisely why certification for our industry is so important and for the certificant it demonstrates a commitment to lifelong learning and career advancement.  It means recognition for skills and competency in the work they do and the value they bring.  For healthcare organizations and society it means that organizations can count on the certified value analysis professional to be held to fundamental standards, a higher knowledge base and a set of skills that promote greater competency. 


I hope you’ll join me this next year in advancing your value analysis career and our profession by diving into the curriculum and ultimately becoming a Certified Healthcare Value Analysis Professional (CHVAP).


How will certification help you advance your career?  Will you be joining others in this endeavor? 


Keep in mind that it’s all in a day’s work but far more existing for the value analysis professionals to have certification recognition for the hard work that is performed every day. 


Tags:  ahvap  AHVAP Conference  alue analysis  alue analysis certification  alue analysis professionals  aterials Management  cost  eading Practice of Value Analysis  ealth care  ealthcare interprofessional  haring  health care  hospital  HVAP Conference  Leading Practice of Value Analysis  Leading Practice of Value Analysis Health care int  materials management  ospitals  ost  Protocol  quality  quality patient care  ractice  rotocol  supply chain management  uality  uality patient care  upply Chain  value analysis  Value Analysis Certification  value analysis professionals 

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Posted By Administration, Friday, August 15, 2014

By Dee Donatelli RN, BSN, MBA
AHVAP President

What a fantastic year for AHVAP at the 2014 AHRMM Conference for having the largest pre-conference attendance contributed to the outstanding job of our AHVAP members who presented Value Analysis 101 and 201 sessions. AHVAP’s Value Analysis Team collaborated with AHRMM attendees through interactive dialog and actionable sessions creating an increased interest and support of AHVAP and membership in the association.  In fact, two attendees from Turkey were so excited about the Value Analysis information and approach taken here in the states that they had plans to start programs in their facilities.  How cool is this to share with colleagues from other countries? 

AHVAP’s goal is to be represented as the Leading Practice of Value Analysis by clearly identifying the path for growth and interest specifically in the offering of Value Analysis education and certification.  If you’re not currently aware, AHVAP will have Value Analysis course curriculum and educational on-line learning modules the later part of this year.  The course content is currently being developed by highly experienced professional AHVAP members in conjunction with Owens and Minor University (OMU) and ADP professional curriculum and certification experts.  Feel free to contact one of the AHVAP Board members to learn more about the program work content or to ask questions.  More details to come regarding the AHVAP Certification for Value Analysis Professionals targeted for early 2015 will be presented during the AHVAP 2014 October Conference in Tampa Florida and the AHVAP web site.

AHVAP is “the voice of Value Analysis” throughout the healthcare industry and to share some more additional exciting news, AHVAP will be working collaboratively with AHRMM to provide expertise to their Supply Chain Focused on-line education regarding Value Analysis. Keep a watch out for all of these new upcoming and exciting educational offerings all intended to capitalize the “VALUE” of Value Analysis Programs! 

Tags:  AHVAP  AHVAP Conference  cost  health care  interprofessional sharing  Leading Practice of Value Analysis  quality  quality patient care  value analysis  value analysis certification  value analysis professionals 

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Innovation in Value Analysis

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Innovation in Value Analysis:  A  Case Study

By Sue Toomey, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Value Analysis Coordinator


Let’s face it, as Value Analysis professionals we thrive to enhance services, improve utilization, keep staff and clinicians satisfied, and reduce total overall costs while providing quality patient care. We use a variety of strategies to achieve this goal – and a particularly useful communication approach is selling ease of use of the product to be evaluated to the end user, the clinicians and the ease of delivery (from package to patient).  This article describes how the use of a team approach led to cost savings and the controlled use of product.


The Cost of innovation:


Advanced Hemostats & Sealants, a relative newcomer to the surgery market, a product perceived to increase efficiency of care for our patients have significantly increased annual supply expenses.  Keep in mind, a few years back, hospitals did not really incur any major expense in this category (wound closure and hemostasis) until these types of products were developed by manufacturers.  Now we have a new, and growing (with many new competing products being added every day) major product line to manage and track as value analysis professionals to ensure that we are keeping our costs low and quality high.


Optimizing Care Team:


In performing a value analysis review of the Advanced Hemostats and Sealants products at Lehigh Valley Health Network, we were surprised to find that the various sizes of applicators (ml’s) were being over utilized and causing a major cost overrun.   This can easily occur because clinicians do not know the total cost to these types of products.  Clinicians use the products but they don’t actually buy them which limits their ability to evaluate the cost and benefit in the selection of product to offer for use, e.g., utilizing a larger size when a smaller size product would offer the same benefit, without impact on quality and with reduced cost.  Strategic implementation of the Lehigh Valley Health Network measurement processes allows for a multidisciplinary team skilled in clinical and business knowledge,  reviews these types of product lines using clinician consumption and weight calculations.  The results provide an eye opening perspective to the use and total cost of this and other major product lines. 


Interprofessional combined knowledge and influence provides leveraging for managing both cost and quality.


Our Optimizing Care Team (OCT) process provides for Interprofessional  sharing of this type of information with our clinicians providing a platform to review intended use of products allowing guidelines and restrictions,  based on evidence based review , to control and reduce the usage of innovated products.  Often, when increased utilization and costs are recognized it is determined that we should be evaluating competitive products.  Such products are then escalated to OCT and vendor competition is initiated, processes are reviewed, and suppliers are engaged to problem solve product utilization issues (availability of selected sizes and packaging modalities).  The goal of the OCT is to transition products to an alternative (quality and cost focused) vendor who has the value analysis philosophy and clinician collaboration model that aligns with our network.  In this instance, LVHN was able to contribute to a total overall cost savings reduction of 45% to get Advanced Hemostats and Sealant products back under control. 

Managing quality and cost will continue to remain a focus of health care organizations that achieve and exceed their financial bottom line. Interprofessional collaboration is an essential competency to evaluate clinical application of product, but also to analyze value of use – and after all, isn’t that the true meaning of value analysis?


Tags:  AHVAP  cost  health care  interprofessional sharing  quality  quality patient care  value analysis  value analysis professionals 

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Is Your Value Analysis Program a Bridge or a Rope?

Posted By Susan A. Toomey, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
By:  Wanda Lane
Clinical Value Analysis Coordinator

How many times have you heard “why should we bother evaluating a different product? Our opinions don’t matter anyway; it’s all about the dollar.” Or “why are we considering more products to solve a practice problem, can’t nurses just scrub the hub?” Maybe “clinically unacceptable or just not pretty enough…clinicians need to learn about costs.” If you have heard comments like these and others, your Value Analysis program probably feels less like a bridge and more like a rope in the healthcare tug of war. 

Bridging the gap between clinical and materials management worlds, Value Analysis professionals provide information to both sides that would otherwise be left open for interpretation. This unique understanding of the logistical and contract obligation language, coupled with clinical knowledge, enables the VA professional to communicate clearly with both sides of the equation. Patient care delivery and product features motivate clinicians, sometimes frustrating Materials Managers who are cost focused. Value Analysts walk freely in both worlds.

Value Analysts also step into the crossfire when the two worlds collide. Dwindling revenue streams, increasing costs and sicker patients put hospitals in a position of financial strain, forcing changes in practice and heightened cost awareness.  These changes frustrate clinicians and materials staff alike, but Value Analysis professionals can thrive in this environment if they follow a few simple rules.

1.      Acknowledge your personal internal conflict. Many VA professionals are clinicians, gifted with a unique perspective. We empathize with our clinical peers and understand the priority on patient care in a personal way versus an abstract concept. Yet, because we understand the financial side of the equation, we are obligated to hold clinicians more accountable for their fiscal awareness.

2.      Present both sides of the arguments fearlessly. Hospitals that survive in this economic environment are making adjustments. VA professionals who openly share the good, bad and ugly of every situation garner trust from both sides, thus improving cooperation.

3.      Use humor. Learn to laugh with, and at the situation. Listening to clinicians argue vehemently that the facility must pay six figures for a product because it is easier to use, while at the same time complaining about the need for more nurses is amusing, frustrating, but amusing. Watching a supply distribution technician explain politely that the facility does not have an in-house stock supply of that “blue clippie thing” can be funny. The situation may not be funny, but the behaviors are. It is all a matter of perspective.

4.      Accept what you cannot control. Clinicians will find work-arounds to the most robust processes. Materials managers will block excellent clinical initiatives because of hard costs. Value Analysis’ role is to provide information to both sides objectively and clearly. Neutrality enhances fairness and trust, elevating your credibility and value to the facility.

Healthcare is fraught with challenges, while also ripe with opportunity. Understanding both sides of the equation positions the Value Analysis professional as the go-to person. Use your unique perspective to advocate for the ultimate customer- the patient!

If you identify with this article, please leave a comment.

Tags:  AHVAP  Healthcare  Hospitals  materials management  Practice  Protocol  Supply Chain  Value Analysis  Wanda Lane 

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AHVAP Webinar: The Nuts and Bolts of Recalls with a Focus on Class One Recalls with Implants

Posted By Administration, Monday, June 16, 2014

If you missed the latest regional meeting on June 12th, you missed an excellent opportunity to learn about a well-structured recall process.  Sonja Glass, RN, BSN, Value Analysis Coordinator for Surgical Services, and AHVAP Eastern Director, and Carolyn Barnette, JD, Insurance and Risk Manager from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, provided a detailed overview of their Recall Process.  Following introductions by Cheri Berri-Lesh, Value Analysis Coordinator at Group Health Cooperative and Western Region Director, Sonja opened the session by defining the types of recalls, the tools used to track them, and the staff members to be included on the Recall team.  Next, Carolyn presented information about the process, legal requirements and rationale then offered examples of practical applications.  An effective process is important not only to the patients we serve but also effectively minimizes exposure to liability for your organization.  In light of the numerous recalls in recent years and heightened public awareness, it is critically important to establish a well-defined process. 

Following the presentation, participants had the opportunity to ask questions and share tips.  In response to requests for copies of the slide presentation, Cheri advised it will be posted on the AHVAP website along with a copy of the Recall Checklist.  There was also a request for a copy of the job description for the Recall Coordinator. There is a possibility the job description for the Recall Coordinator can be shared. Sonja offered to discuss the role with participants.  Sonja’s contact information is available to AHVAP members in the Member Directory on the AHVAP Website.  Our thanks to Sonja and Carolyn for the time they invested to share their expertise with us.  It was much appreciated!

Weren’t able to attend?  The slides and shared documents will be posted on the AHVAP website for members to access. 

Save the Date: The next quarterly call will be September 11, 2014 at 3 pm EST.

Tags:  AHVAP  healthcare  hospital  implants  recalls  resources  Surgical Services  value analysis  Value Analysis Coordinator 

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