Home' The Source : First Quarter 2011 Contents How safe are your patients?
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These decisions are no di erent from every-
day personal choices. When incremental value is
perceived, funds are spent; if not, funds are con-
served or redirected to areas where greater value
can be obtained. Whether choosing a supermarket
product, automobile, medical device or pharma-
ceutical---when a material di erence exists, funds
are usually spent.
It's important that these decisions be made jointly
by physicians and supply chain management and that
they are evidence-based. And whenever possible,
follow this corollary: If choice is limited in areas
where choice does not improve the quality of care,
then it should facilitate improved cost-e ectiveness
and/or enhanced choice in areas where choice can
improve the quality of care.
Typical stereotypes and prejudices between sup-
ply chain managers and physicians can be dispelled
with better communication. It starts with mutual
education and understanding of how the two parties
are inextricably linked in providing high-quality,
e cient, cost-e ective patient care. Supply chain
discussions should not be perceived as battles with
winners or losers. They should begin with the medi-
cal evidence supporting a given product, followed
by the multiple factors that underlie its utilization.
Since all involved in these health-care decisions
have the same goal, there needs to be increased
recognition of the di erent pieces required to solve
Ideas for enhancing the partnership between
clinical providers and supply chain administration
1. Forming a leadership committee, including
C-level executives, chiefs of medical sta , heads
of specialty areas, policy and procedure directors and
supply chain managers, with the mutual goal of com-
munication and education.
2. Develop a mission/vision statement underscoring
alignment and the goal of high-quality, cost-ef-
fective and e cient patient care. All parties should
have a frank but constructive interchange about how
to move toward that goal.
3. Determine the critically important areas where
better equipment and devices are most neces-
sary. Ensure that evidence-based medicine is utilized
to foster objectivity during the review of new devices
4. Agree on areas where a reduction in a product line or formulary would
reduce cost and improve e ciency, while not adversely impacting the qual-
ity of patient care. Consider creative, cutting-edge ideas that would allow for the
savings achieved in one clinical area or service line to be utilized in another where
the resources would be more likely to positively impact patient outcomes.
All those involved in health care should have the unified goal of evidence-based,
high-quality and e cient patient care. Given today's environment, those unable to
provide optimal care in a cost-e ective manner will not survive, requiring an enhanced
sense of fiscal responsibility by providers and non-providers alike. It is crucial that the
diverse challenges of physicians and the supply chain are well-communicated and
well-understood, and that all are well-aligned in order to ensure success. •
The Source | First Quarter 2011 39
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