4 Steps to Drive Change at Your Healthcare Organization


Tue Mar 29 13:00:30 CDT 2016

Driving change at a system level to implement new processes requires buy-in and support of all stakeholders. We know getting this alignment is not easy.

During the videocast “Leverage the Power of Your Supply Chain to Improve Your Bottom Line,” leaders from Lifespan, Tenet and Fletcher Allen Healthcare discussed four key steps they’re using to successfully secure this alignment and drive the changes necessary to reduce costs, ensure quality care, and improve patient outcomes at their healthcare systems.


#1: Offer transparency with integrity by tearing down silos and aligning goals.

How it’s done: Create structures for the new ways of working.
What your hospital can gain: Cost-effective purchases through broad involvement in product selection.



“Implementing supply chain at a system level and not just an individual affiliate level gives us the ability to select the best products at the best cost” – Nicholas Dominick, Jr., Senior Vice President, Diagnostic and Support Services, Lifespan, Providence, RI


“Our co-management agreements require management to work side by side with physicians across different practice areas to make decisions on products. Doctors are compensated for the hours they spend taking on certain projects. The resulting esprit de corps is better than I’ve ever seen” – Erik Wexler, CEO, Northeast Region, Tenet Healthcare Corporation



#2: Use the right data and build consensus to reduce process and procedural variability.


How it’s done: Define the end game in terms of patient outcomes and people will rally around the cause.
What your hospital can gain: Clinical leaders’ ownership of new procedures and techniques speeds change and boosts quality.



“Our clinicians are scientists: once they see compelling data on our issues, they dig in and help us find solutions.” – Charlie Miceli, CPM, Vice President, Supply Chain, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, VT


“As we evaluated our vascular surgeons’ performance, we looked at costs in the aggregate. Then we individually shared with each surgeon how they compared within the group. As a result, everyone began to actively seek ways to reduce costs in the OR.”– Erik Wexler


“Being able to understand data within the same source supports benchmarking. Two doctors in our joint center openly shared their performance data on a peer-to-peer level. It’s opened up new conversations on efficiency within that department.” – Nicholas Dominick, Jr.



#3: Create and nurture the ‘rock stars’ by elevating subject matter experts who champion new processes.


How it’s done:Reward those who leverage their knowledge to create system-wide improvements.
What your hospital can gain: Cost reduction and quality targets happen on schedule.


“Our subject management experts in supply chain and perioperative services help us do the right thing for our patients. As a result of contributions from both our clinical and operational leaders, any reductions in our spend will be shared 50 percent across departments for the first year.” – Charlie Miceli, CPM


“A physician champion-surgeon who understood the value of new trocar-suture products being introduced served as a key communicator who ‘cascaded’ knowledge to other members of that department.” – Erik Wexler



#4: Stop viewing supply chain as a sales transaction by making the table bigger.


How it’s done: Help everyone understand and act upon their roles in improving supply chain operations.
What your hospital can gain: Universal buy-in on new product introductions.



“The conversations have to be different. Shift the traditional focus of alignment on sales through physicians to sales with physicians and hospital administration.” – Erik Wexler


“Moving from a transactional mindset to a strategic mindset requires people with IT skills, communication skills across the organization, strategic skills and logistics skills. They also must be interpreters who explain what has to happen between the introduction of products and their use.” – Nicholas Dominick, Jr.