For healthcare leaders, a clinically integrated supply chain is no longer a “nice to have;” rather, it's required to navigate the complex challenges of the modern healthcare ecosystem. Siloed teams, product and process variation, and poor clinical outcomes are all signs of weak clinical integration. These shortfalls put health systems at great risk amid rising costs, an increasing focus on quality, and decreasing reimbursement.
Value-based care accelerated the need for clinical integration, which is now widely accepted as the golden standard for outcomes-focused health systems. As a result, strategic clinical investment has never been more critical.
However, achieving optimal patient outcomes and cost profiles with cross-functional collaboration, data, and product consensus is not an easy feat. To develop and maintain an integrated supply chain, health systems must tap into the collective power of their people, processes, data, and technology. One building block alone will not suffice in achieving clinical integration; rather each element works collectively to encourage cultural change throughout the organization.
What’s required for health systems to achieve clinical integration maturation?
As organizations progress through the maturation model, the importance of collaboration between clinical and non-clinical stakeholders is elevated. Looking ahead, the future state of clinical integration combines patient outcomes with spend data to assess the real risk and return on investment (ROI) of products and practices.
Building blocks for clinical transformation and maturation
Use symplr's guidelines as your health system progresses toward clinical integration maturity.
Executive, supply chain, and clinical leaders
- Executive leaders proactively demonstrate buy-in for clinical transformation by setting the tone across organizational structures
- Sourcing practices by supply chain and value analysis teams evolve with an aim toward clinical outcomes
- Physician leaders consider engaging in supply chain activities the norm rather than the exception
Clinical engagement and education
- Evidence-based decision-making drives integration efforts and are at the center of alignment efforts
- A systemwide clinical leadership model where education and benchmarking are pillars of change is used to encourage adoption
- Physicians and clinicians are elevated to serve as process champions rather than being tapped solely as product champions
Process and product standardization
- The organization conducts full product and process data reviews, maintaining an outcomes-focused reference point across stakeholders with cross-functional teams
- Reductions in product variation result from the performance of cost evaluations across the product portfolio
- Physician engagement champions serve as partners in the supply chain to aid in standardizing processes
Financial, safety, and clinical data
- Stakeholders align around a wide range of historical and aggregated data (e.g., safety, regulatory, clinical, reimbursement, contracting, utilization, purchase order spend, quality, outcomes data, etc.)
- Decision making is focused on total value, where product and process decisions support the highest quality and outcomes at the lowest cost
- A systemwide culture shift toward clinical integration is ongoing
- Behavioral change reduces legacy, event-based behavior across all stakeholder groups, including suppliers
- Value analysis and supply chain teams are seen as strategic partners in efforts to improve clinical outcomes
- People, processes, data, and technology are all engaged to drive forward-looking integration frameworks
Developing a clinically integrated supply chain is a continuous evolution for even the most mature health systems. One area of opportunity for many is connecting the right stakeholders with the right processes across the healthcare ecosystem.
To learn more about how software can support clinically integrated maturation, reach out to symplr’s subject-matter experts.