Clinical Integration of Healthcare Supply Chain


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Meet to Decide

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 decisions especially when the decisions or changes could make a significant financial or clinical impact.

One reason we conduct a meeting is to discuss a topic with experts that may involve a change or a choice. Usually, the first meeting is a meet-and-greet and a setting of objectives, followed by a discussion on what information we need and then when to meet next to begin the process. Have you ever looked around at a group gathered in a meeting room and wondered what are we all doing here, how much “wasted” time are we spending, and ultimately how much does it cost by bringing all of us together? Sometimes you even wonder, why am I even here? So let’s think about a new approach.

Meeting fundamentals

To host and manage an effective meeting I would like to suggest the following six-step approach:

1. Select the right group of experts. Keep the number small.

2. Provide all the necessary information electronically prior to the meeting.

3. Set the expectation that the experts review the information prior to the meeting.

4. Ask the experts to request any clarifications prior to the meeting.

5. Establish meeting expectations that the participants will make a decision in one session.

6. Thank and disband the experts!

Let’s think about how this 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 SMEs based specifically on the task at hand. Ask these SMEs to follow the six-step process. Meet to make a decision.

Now I assume some of you may be thinking, “this would NEVER work in our culture!” Perhaps it is too radical a format from your current process. But try easing into the change. Begin providing information and evidence to your value analysis teams prior to the meeting. Begin to expect they actually study the materials prior to arrival. Slowly eliminate detailed review of the materials during the meeting, instead highlight and refer to the materials.

Encourage team members to reach out to you and ask clarifying questions prior to the meeting. This will assist in the creation of complete business case reviews and make sure you are including the clinical information or additional business-based data that you may have forgotten but is very important to the experts.

Providing necessary information and evidence in a standardized workbook approach. This will simplify review and preparation. Eventually, committee members will expect this level of information. Consider these tabs in your workbook:

A) Overview and introduction – a charter. What are you asking the experts to do?

B) Financial data and business analysis.

C) Clinical evidence, outcomes, technology information and details.

D) Recommendation considerations and proposed next steps for approval.

By sending a workbook out electronically, well in advance of the meeting, you will allow the experts time to review the information at their leisure. By encouraging them to ask for clarification beforehand will save time when the experts actually meet. By electronically sharing questions and your answers to the entire group of experts will expedite a more thorough review of data.

Last week I discussed being pulled in to clinical meetings rather than pushing clinicians in to supply chain meetings. By using this more results-driven approach with your current meetings you will build credibility in your ability to drive decisions, present accurate and actionable data and trust that you get things done. What better way to get invited to even more meetings – keep the faith!

Fundamentally, rather than meeting to meet – meet to make a decision. I believe you will drive change faster and more effectively, and your experts will be more motivated and satisfied with the process and results.

My goal is to provide ideas from my experiences and make a difference for you and others! Please let me know how I can help.

Joey Donatelli