How Lifepoint Health & HealthTrust took a deep dive to optimize operations

Vicki Alberto | VP, Clinical Resource Management inSight Advisory - Supply Chain | HealthTrust
Vicki Alberto, RN

Like many healthcare networks, Lifepoint Health needed a more efficient and effective multidisciplinary approach to supply management and the network-wide alignment of its value analysis program. HealthTrust’s VP of Clinical Resource Management, Vicki Alberto, RN, and her team were ready to help.

HealthTrust’s team worked with Lifepoint to outline the organization’s specific approach, and it specifically assessed the governance and structure around the value analysis team (VAT) across the individual locations and system level.

“There were two strategic supply chain priorities that Lifepoint established: enhancing value analysis at the facility level and creating or aligning system efforts with facility-level value analysis,” Alberto explains. “The goal became improving the alignment between the two levels.”

Dee Norton, RN

HealthTrust proposed a system-level value analysis governance and structure that included service line representatives from each division. A value analysis program must be a collaborative effort between subject matter experts, materials management/supply chain, finance and a health system’s GPO [group purchasing organization]. Executive leadership support is also critical to the success of the program.

Julie London, RN, BSN

It’s imperative to tap your resources at all levels and from departments across the organization. “Pulling your nursing and surgical leadership from throughout the system is important,” says Dee Norton, RN, Lifepoint Health’s Clinical Operations Director. “Our system-level value analysis team is not just the corporate level making decisions; it’s us involving leaders from each of our hospitals. We want to collaborate to make it successful.”

Once the structure was established, the focus turned to creating an implementation process for value analysis initiatives. “We were charged with standardization, hoping to drive value, while considering best practices and patient outcomes,” explains HealthTrust’s Julie London, RN, BSN, Senior Director of Clinical Resource Management. “However,” she adds, “there were no processes in place for decision-making or implementation.”

Seven steps to implementation

To provide a standard implementation process to use across the Lifepoint Health system, HealthTrust created a seven-step process:

  1. Introduce the initiative
  2. Make clinical decisions
  3. Validate supplier availability & cross-referencing
  4. Develop implementation materials & launch process
  5. Engage supply chain operations
  6. Provide support for the implementation (such as facilitating launch calls with supplier &/or supply chain & clinical leaders prior to or during the launch, &
    coordinating follow-up calls with facilities to understand what is going well & where more support is needed)
  7. Track compliance

They also set a 90-day product conversion deadline. After 90 days, the SKUs associated with replaced products are deactivated in the ordering system to make it more likely for clinicians to comply with product changes.

The results

While this system-level value analysis methodology is still in its early stage at Lifepoint, the health system is seeing more compliance with supply chain initiatives, increased standardization across the system and more efficiencies that lead to savings. They’re also finding more clinicians and leaders who want to be part of VATs.

Lifepoint is still identifying lessons learned, but some things are already clear. Asking questions and constantly communicating are key steps, especially during the implementation process. Clear and consistent communication has improved engagement between value analysis leaders and clinicians. “As we move forward down this new path, we continue to gain momentum by improved collaboration between supply chain and clinicians,” says Norton. “It’s a very exciting time and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

For more information, contact your HealthTrust Account Manager or visit Advisory Services.

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