HealthTrust spearheads the effort to deliver additional value for members
To mitigate potential risks to the healthcare supply chain, HealthTrust created a Supply Disruption Task Force in the months following the height of the pandemic. As the organization continues its supply chain resiliency efforts, HealthTrust initiated a member-led formulary process and item rationalization effort to standardize supplies and reduce waste, creating additional value for HealthTrust members and suppliers.
The new initiative mirrors drug formularies, which HealthTrust implemented several years ago. Now, however, product formularies could encompass all types of supplies used within healthcare facilities—from alcohol wipes and surgical gowns to everything in between. From an operational perspective, formularies are a clear win for both providers and suppliers.
“This is a member-led process where members determine a product formulary that will meet their clinical and operational needs, and they are doing so collectively across the member groups involved,” says Stephanie Thompson, PharmD, MBA, VP of Clinical Services at HealthTrust. “Many members have formularies within their individual health systems, but we believe having a GPO formulary will provide additional positive outcomes for members and suppliers.”
“HealthTrust’s model is focused on aligned scale and commitment. This effort is yet another way in which HealthTrust, HCA Healthcare and other members are coming together to identify and promote operational efficiencies that will benefit everyone,” says Missy Pennington, RN, AVP of Clinical Resource Analysis for HCA Healthcare Supply Chain at HealthTrust.
Power in numbers
Pennington’s team has created formularies for HCA Healthcare for more than seven years, clinically vetting products that show the best value and effectiveness. The HealthTrust team will work with HCA Healthcare and other members to develop formulary recommendations for the benefit of the entire membership.
“HCA Healthcare represents significant purchasing volume, but we know that if the GPO (HealthTrust) has support from other member providers to increase that volume, it will enable all of us to achieve more value,” Pennington explains. “There’s power in numbers.”
One potential challenge to a product formulary process is reticence from clinicians who might be concerned that standardizing product lines will narrow their choices. Pennington shares that standardization reaps clinical, operational and financial benefits—including improving patient safety and outcomes, facilitating disaster stockpiles that contain the same products for all facilities and reducing product waste, among others.
“A product formulary makes it easier to manage inventory, as well as educate and train staff members in a difficult labor market,” explains Jocelyn Bradshaw, SVP of Strategic Sourcing for HealthTrust. “And suppliers will benefit by streamlining their manufacturing operations.”
“In the past, ‘formulary’ may have evoked a negative reaction from some clinicians who thought of it as receiving the cheapest product. However, that shouldn’t be the case,” Pennington says. “We should be able to drive the best value on products that have good clinical efficacy. It’s not always the cheapest product—it’s what has been clinically vetted to meet the patient care need. There’s value to clinicians in being able to use the same products no matter which hospital or unit they’re working in.”
Thompson hopes HealthTrust members understand that creating product formularies isn’t limiting, but freeing. “This effort is less about restriction and more about value optimization in challenging times,” she explains. “Partnering across-the-board provides a benefit to our membership, assists suppliers and manufacturers in better forecasting to ensure supply, and brings value and consistency to the clinicians caring for patients.”
Looking for a product formulary in a particular category, or do you have one to share? Post it in the HealthTrust Huddle or email firstname.lastname@example.orgShare Email Formularies, Q2 2023