Happy Value Analysis Week! Organized by the Association of Value Analysis Professionals (AHVAP), this week (July 18-22) celebrates value analysis professionals and their collaborative work toward improving costs, quality, and outcomes within healthcare organizations. 

“Healthcare value analysis contributes to optimal patient outcomes through an evidenced-based, systematic approach to review healthcare products, equipment, technology and services. Using recognized practices, organizational resources collaborate to evaluate clinical efficacy, appropriate use, and safety for the greatest financial value.” —AHVAP  

 At symplr, we applaud these professionals and their impact, which spans supply chain, clinical practice, and patient experience.

What better way to celebrate healthcare’s Value Analysis Week than to hear from our own value management experts, represented in the symplr employee resource group called “Clinical & Professional Resources,” on what value analysis means to them.   
 
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Description automatically generatedShannon Brode, MPH
Scientific Evidence Director, symplr 

What does value analysis mean to you?  

 To me, value analysis is really providing value-based care. To do that well, this means using evidence to provide the best and highest-quality care. In turn, this ultimately results in improving patient outcomes while allowing clinicians to make defensible, evidence-based decisions.  

What’s your advice on how to get physicians and other clinicians more engaged in value management?  

 From my perspective working in the evidence realm, I think that if organizations can utilize entities like GreenLight Medical and Hayes, providers can ensure that clinicians have access to unbiased, evidence-based research so that they can focus on providing the best care without the heavy lifting of having to aggregate and analyze research alone.  

 

karlene kerfootKarlene Kerfoot, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Nursing Officer, symplr 

What does value analysis mean to you?

 For people in healthcare and for patients, it has meant moving from opinion-based decisions to decisions based on data and evidence when evaluating processes and purchasing products and services in healthcare. The goal is to provide the best safety, quality, and cost outcomes for patients and healthcare systems by carefully evaluating products and services based on data and evidence. 

What's your advice on how to get physicians and other clinicians more engaged in value management? 

We must remind everyone of the Hippocratic Oath: "First, do no harm." We have an ethical obligation to evaluate products and services based on evidence, so we do not harm patients—yet strive to provide cost-effective, safe healthcare at all times. Value analysis allows physicians and clinicians to bring greater value to the healthcare experience by creating higher standards at a lower cost. When framed this way, physicians and clinicians can see the bigger purpose in value analysis and provide their support. 

 

leadership_Julie_WalkerJulie Walker, MBA
Executive Vice President & Managing Director, symplr 

What does value analysis mean to you? 

Value analysis is essential to delivering quality care. Performing a streamlined, collaborative, and well-informed value analysis program and processes whereby the right data and clinically relevant insights are accessible at the right time by the right people will ultimately help achieve better clinical and financial outcomes. 

What's your advice on how to get physicians and other clinicians more engaged in value management?  

Enable your impacted physicians and clinicians to have a voice. Meaningfully engaging them early and often in your value analysis program is essential to its governance. Keep in mind that the quality and affordability of the care provided are mission critical as part of healthcare reform and, ultimately, the ability to deliver better patient value and outcomes. 

 

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Description automatically generated with low confidenceTom Watson, RCVT, RDMS 
Clinical Expert, symplr 

What does value analysis mean to you? 

Value analysis aligns the vision and goals of the organization with the decisions and costs. It focuses on ensuring high-quality, effective patient care with positive patient outcomes and within a reasonable and affordable budget. The team’s knowledge and experience are empowered using insight from a trusted advisory organization that provides unbiased data and informational insight and guidance. This input includes relevant market trends, costs, technologies, evidence, compliance, and operational management for best practices. The ideal trusted advisory service should be established and proven with no inherent interest in the organization’s success other than providing insight for empowering that success. 

What's your advice on how to get physicians and other clinicians more engaged in value management?

A consistent, fair, open-minded value analysis process is essential. The clarity and consistency of the decision process is critical to instill confidence. It should balance foundational needs and requirements for current, pragmatic patient care needs while also considering visionary growth. A truly vibrant organization will consider leading-edge solutions and healthcare technologies to meet growing and future needs. I believe this creates an environment of engagement with physicians and clinicians that grows and is sustainable. 

 

Heather RHeather Roberts, BSN, RN  
Senior Business Consultant, symplr  

What does value analysis mean to you? 

Value analysis is the intersection of high-quality healthcare and sustainable healthcare practices.  

What's your advice on how to get physicians and other clinicians more engaged in value management?

From my experience, the best way to get physicians and clinicians involved in value analysis is to make the projects matter to them. If a physician or clinician has shared interest or accountability in a particular topic, they are more likely to want their voices heard. I’ve also found that if you have solid data that shows how physicians compare to each other, in both cost and quality, they typically enjoy being part of the solution to the issue(s). 

 

Linda Justice, RN, MCSM 
Solution Consultant/Nurse Executive, symplr 

What does value analysis mean to you? 

Value analysis is the ability to evaluate available solutions to a medical care need and provide guidance in the optimal solution to provide the best patient outcomes while ensuring financial viability of the organization. 

What's your advice on how to get physicians and other clinicians more engaged in value management?

Keep in mind that to providers and other caregivers, it is all about the patient. Make outcomes data available to the caregivers related to the solution choices. Emphasize patient outcomes over financial gains. 

 

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceAshley Brand, BSN, RN, CVAHP
Evidence Research Services Senior Manager, symplr 

What does value analysis mean to you? 

Value analysis is a way of removing subjectivity and bringing the whole picture to the forefront for decision making in healthcare. The value analysis process brings together clinical, operational, and financial impacts and empowers teams to choose the best options for their patients and the organization. 

What's your advice on how to get physicians and other clinicians more engaged in value management?

Engaging physicians and clinicians in value analysis starts with education. Once the “why” is understood, clinicians are more likely to jump onboard and make an impact. 

 

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Description automatically generated with low confidenceRachel Smith
Senior Customer Success Manager, symplr 

What does value analysis mean to you? 

Value analysis is the ability to make defensible decisions on product adoptions based on the information that is available.  

What's your advice on how to get physicians and other clinicians more engaged in value management? 

My advice is to showcase the functionality in our software. We want them to see that all parts of the process—from locating/requesting a desired product in the library to answering the supplemental questions—are easily accessible and, most importantly, streamlined in a way that they’re excited to participate. We want them to see that the data we provide around these products gives them the upper hand in getting them approved for their facility/system because the data is objective and evidence based. 

 

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Description automatically generated with low confidenceDebi Turner, MBA, RN, ACHE
Senior Evidence Research Specialist, symplr

What does value analysis mean to you? 

Value analysis is an interdisciplinary, systematic, and objective process for evaluating current and/or newer technologies for evidence-based practice in an effort to manage expenses while keeping quality of patient care and patient safety in focus.  

What's your advice on how to get physicians and other clinicians more engaged in value management?

Frequently, physicians/nurses are unaware of the cost of specific products and how they impact the cost of specific procedures. It is imperative that physicians/nurses be involved in the value analysis process because they are end users and are impacted the most by the decisions rendered by the value analysis committee. One way to get surgeons/nursing involved in the process is to make it a standing agenda item on their surgical advisory board committee meetings and nursing practice committee meetings. 

 

Camille ACamille Allred MSRS, R.T.(R)(CI)(ARRT)
Clinical Advisor, Cardiac and Interventional Imaging, symplr 

What does value analysis mean to you? 

Value analysis is the intersection of minimizing costs by maximizing clinical efficacy. The cost of a treatment, piece of equipment, or a supply is not necessarily indicative of the benefit to the patient.  

What's your advice on how to get physicians and other clinicians more engaged in value management? 

Providers are the ultimate experts on the treatments they administer. By actively involving them early in the process, they can assist in narrowing the scope of inquiry through early identification of options ill-suited for the intended clinical purpose, streamlining the adoption of new technologies. 

 

Jennifer Davis, BS, CLA, MA-P
Research Analyst, symplr 

What does value analysis mean to you? 

There are hundreds of new medical and healthcare-related products and ideas entering the care space each year. Value analysis is the process of gathering the best available information surrounding a healthcare-related product, pharmaceutical or biologic, laboratory or genetic test, medical device, or capital equipment for the purpose of establishing known efficacy (i.e., ability to improve patient outcomes and quality of life), cost-effectiveness, validity and utility, and safety profile to determine whether an investment in that item will help clinicians provide better care for their patients compared with currently available equivalents. 

What's your advice on how to get physicians and other clinicians more engaged in value management? 

The biggest benefit for clinicians to be involved in value analysis is the ability to verify sales pitches—can item "X" actually do what the manufacturer claims. By engaging with a value analysis entity, physicians gain access to a summary of available data (e.g., clinical trials) that they may need to make or back up their clinical and purchase decisions. Defensible decisions garner peace of mind that they are using and offering their patients the best options available. 

 

Angel Mena Aguilar, MD
Chief Medical Officer, symplr Clinical Communications 

What does value analysis mean to you? 

Value in healthcare means how to deliver better clinical outcomes while reducing or maintaining the same cost. Value analysis or business intelligence in health refers to the analysis of programs, processes, and roles that can impact value. 

What's your advice on how to get physicians and other clinicians more engaged in value management? 

This is a tough task because most physicians go into medicine to take care of patients, and process improvement and data analysis are not necessarily of interest to all. Being transparent about the “why” is the most important factor! Try to explain the burning platform—that the current financial models in healthcare are not sustainable.

 

Anna Daly, MSN, RN
Director, Business Product Management, symplr 

What does value analysis mean to you? 

Value analysis is a critical step allowing clinicians to move from a traditional supply chain focus on cost, to an evidence-based purchasing strategy. Not only does this enable value-based care, it allows for more fiscal responsibility than ever before and leads to improved financial, quality, and patient outcomes.  

What's your advice on how to get physicians and other clinicians more engaged in value management? 

Engaging physicians and clinicians at the start of any value analysis initiative enables buy-in of the products and services hospitals purchase. Having them as an integral part of the evaluation process allows them to use their perspectives and expertise to weed out poor clinically performing purchase requests and focus on those with the highest potential for effectiveness.  

 

Kaila Geisinger
Product Marketing Associate, symplr 

What does value analysis mean to you? 

To me, value analysis is a proactive framework for making evidence-based, clinically informed decisions with the goal of contributing to positive patient outcomes. When the right people and the right data come together, value analysis processes unite diverse stakeholders around the clinical merit of the product beyond the immediate cost, which may or may not be indicative of value.  

What's your advice on how to get physicians and other clinicians more engaged in value management? 

Increasing physician engagement requires streamlined processes and a united goal across the organization. On a practical level, it is critical to work as a team to increase transparency and remove any logistical barriers that create unnecessary manual busywork and inhibit physician engagement. Most importantly, if an organization has a systemwide culture that prioritizes patient outcomes—and that priority is well socialized among leaders and supply chain and value analysis professionals—all stakeholders in this collaborative process are united around the same “why.” This opens the door to finding common ground with clinicians, the subject-matter experts in improving patient care. When strong clinical evidence is the foundation for reviews, value analysis can capture the attention of physicians and clinicians, and they can collaborate to bring lifesaving technology into patient care. 

 

To all value analysis professionals: thank you for the countless ways you rally to create a clinically integrated supply chain and improve patient outcomes! 

Learn more about how symplr helps healthcare organizations—and value analysis professionals—navigate the complexities of healthcare spend management. 

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