Clinical Evidence Summaries arm decision-makers with the facts about clinically important products

Whether they’re assessing a new type of spine implant or a prospective supplier for regenerative tissue, HealthTrust members are perpetually faced with choosing from a wide range of products—determining what’s best for their health systems and clinicians and, most important, their patients. To make informed decisions around cost, quality and outcomes, supply chain managers and clinicians must arm themselves with the knowledge to understand the safety, efficacy and efficiency of the medical devices and clinically sensitive products they use.

To help them gain this knowledge, members have long seen the value of the comprehensive, objective and evidence-based Clinical Evidence Reviews developed by HealthTrust’s Clinical Services Research team. Now provided in a condensed summary format—called Clinical Evidence Summaries (CES)—these reports are more useful than ever before.

The value of a CES report

Angie Mitchell, RN

A CES document is designed to educate members as well as inform discussions with HealthTrust’s Strategic Sourcing team, to help them determine the safest and most effective products to use for patients. “The creation of these summaries is probably one of the most important responsibilities of the Clinical Services Research team,” explains Angie Mitchell, RN, former AVP, Clinical Services.

“Our goal is to arm purchasing officers, service line leaders, clinicians and other key stakeholders with the clinical information they need to have discussions with the right people in the hospital to make an informed choice,” she says.

The Clinical Research team relies on several clinical study formats such as meta-analyses and peer-reviewed and randomized-controlled clinical trials in their research. A key part of that task is ensuring the data provided is comprehensive, thorough and objective. “We want robust clinical studies with larger sample sizes,” Mitchell says. The team also incorporates any statements, warnings or recalls from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and scours relevant expert consensus guidelines and statements from professional organizations and accrediting bodies.

While cost considerations may ultimately enter into product decisions, it’s not the priority when evaluating products, devices and technologies to be considered for a HealthTrust contract.

A unique offering

Very few health systems have the internal resources to develop clinical summaries like those provided by HealthTrust. “All of that due diligence and research requires time and a trained eye,” Mitchell explains.

What sets HealthTrust apart is that CES documents are developed with input from its Physician Advisor program.

“HealthTrust Clinical Advisory Boards actively guide the Strategic Sourcing team from a clinical perspective with contracting decisions,” Mitchell says. “Discussing the clinical evidence compiled in a CES helps to ensure Advisory Board feedback is based on objective information, not personal preference.”

Mitchell’s team also watches for ongoing updates from the FDA and new evidence published in journals or presented at industry meetings to keep CES documents up to date.

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