A New Era for Value Analysis
By Dee Donatelli
Dee Donatelli Consulting LLC
I believe the time has come for us to consider a new era for the historic approach to Healthcare Value Analysis. This week has been deemed Value Analysis recognition week and, in that spirit, I would suggest it is time to revolutionize the Value Analysis process as well as the role of the Value Analysis Professional.
The majority of organization’s value analysis processes are structured using a traditional standing group of clinicians and other professionals to drive value analysis teams. Some organizations have several value analysis teams that are category-specific, such as OR, Cath Lab/Radiology, Laboratory, Med/Surg, etc. Leading practice would advocate for an executive oversight committee that helps to drive changes, hold value analysis teams accountable to goals or act in the role of conflict resolution should teams be unable to make a decision.
I would suggest that our traditional approaches to meetings and making decisions may need to adapt to our new age of 24/7 connectivity and rapid decision making. We need to connect more efficiently with subject matter experts to drive decision making faster; specifically, when the decisions or changes could make a significant financial or clinical impact.
Let’s think about how a new approach might impact the way we run our value analysis programs. Rather than have a standing committee representing a variety of experts or even standing category-specific teams, pursue a rapid-fire approach. Select Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) based specifically on the task or topic. Provide information and evidence to the SMEs electronically. Allow them to ask clarifying questions, again electronically, and then require them to vote within a given time. Decision made!
By sending information out electronically you will allow the experts to review the information at their leisure. Encouraging them to ask for clarification will be shared among the SMEs and answers to the entire group of experts will expedite thorough review of data and decision making. By setting a realistic but expedited time for a “vote” you will eliminate backlogs and drive a more efficient process. Never again will the VA Professional hear “What ever happened to my request that I submitted months ago?”.
So how will this new era and electronic process effect the role of the Value Analysis Professional? Well that depends upon the rapid adoption of change and the evolution of the roles and responsibilities that an organization places upon the position. Advancing the practice of the VA Professional into clinical care and utilization management is the wave of the future and long overdue. Most VA positions are laden with backorders and substitution decisions, new product requests (averaging between 50-100 per month) as well as the analytics, meeting prep and schedules – it is not uncommon for VA Professionals to facilitate 8-10 committee meetings per month, sometimes many more. Is this the best use of the position or is it time to rethink the significant impact your VA Professional could be having by restructuring the process for today’s 24/7 working environment?
The VA Professional is the navigator for new and emerging technologies whom should be constantly searching, collaborating and facilitating a “value added” process for your organization. They should be spearheading the clinical integration of supply chain management across your enterprise. They bring significant value and should be elevated to a leadership level within our organizations and viewed as trusted advisors.
This week we celebrate and thank our Value Analysis Professionals for the dedication they have to our healthcare systems and take time to consider a new era for the evolution of the role and the process.
Please visit AVAP for more information.