Traditionally physicians’ roles in the value analysis process have been fairly limited. By involving doctors in the process, a physician can speak to a product’s clinical benefits, compare products, and educate non-clinicians and hospital administrators prior to purchasing. Theoretically this may also improve hospital culture as physicians may feel more included, which can help close the gap between doctors and hospital administrators.

According to Kristin Boehm, only a small portion of organizations are practicing true value analysis (Boehm, 2016). What sets these organizations apart from others is how they choose to include its physicians in the process. Instead of asking them to take on small roles, these doctors are offered leadership positions, as subject matter experts, within the committee. After all, physicians know the products better than anyone. Additionally, the vast majority of products that are brought into hospitals are physician preferred items (PPI) meaning that there are significant savings to be had with physician led programs (Boehm, 2016). 

The main challenge many hospitals face is getting their physicians more involved in the process. Some organizations believe that doctors are not interested in being a part of the process, but it is more likely that they have barriers preventing their engagement. Below are a few ways hospitals can get their physicians engaged in value analysis practices:

  1. Hold meetings in a convenient setting – One of the biggest limitations to physicians joining value analysis meetings is time. By having meetings in clinical areas, their lounge, or departments where they spend an extensive amount of time, hospitals can greatly increase the odds that physicians will join and engage (Boehm, 2016). 
  2. Make efficient use of their time – If hospitals take this into account and schedule value analysis meetings at convenient times for their physicians, they can greatly increase attendance (Boehm, 2016). 
  3. Offer incentives – Nobody likes taking on extra work without receiving some kind of benefit. Being on the Value Analysis Committee is an additional commitment, and it should be treated as such. Most hospitals do not offer incentives to engage in their process; an easy way to improve participation is to start offering additional rewards to motivate physicians (Chung, 2015). 
  4. Ask – According to Jimmy Chung, most hospital administrators believe that their physicians do not want to be involved in the process, but studies have shown the opposite to be true (Chung, 2015).  If administrators were to invite doctors to engage, they would not only be benefiting the value analysis process, but also making their physicians feel heard with regard to operations.

By incorporating these changes into an organization’s value analysis practice, physicians may become more engaged. Involving doctors in the process may result in improved value analysis and supply chain management. From years of experience, GreenLight Medical hospital partners recommend implementing the methods listed above for any organization attempting to upgrade and enhance their value analysis committee. 

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Resources

Boehm, A. (2016). Doctor’s Orders: Steps for a Successful Physician-Led Value Analysis Process [White Paper]. Retrieved February 11th, 2020 from Nexera Inc: https://www.nexerainc.com/doctors-orders-steps-for-a-successful-physician-led-value-analysis-process/

Chung, J. (2015). Physician Leadership in Value Analysis: Why and How. Retrieved February 11th, 2020 from https://www.generalsurgerynews.com/In-the-News/Article/09-15/Physician-Leadership-in-Value-Analysis-Why-and-How/33410