Physicians, surgeons should seek common ground with Supply Chain leaders

“At GS1 US, we believe the world is moving toward a future where ev- erything that can be connected will be connected. Unique product and location identification are integral in that evolution.”

Siobhan O’Bara, Senior Vice President, Industry Engagement & Services, GS1 US

“If you don’t begin with the end in mind then you and your hospital system will spend a lot of time and money with a negative result. You need design partners that can help you articulate how much space you need [in the SPD].”

Steven Sutton, Lean Six Sigma Green, Belt, Director, Planning and Design Group, for Belimed

“I like to think of room disinfection systems as an insurance policy; it pro- vides that additional assurance that we have done everything we can to protect our patients.”

Lorene Campbell, BSN, RN, CIC, Infection Specialist, Valley Children’s Hospital

“One of the worst parts of changing dressings is pain and damage to an already sensitive, traumatized area of skin. A dressing that reduces pain upon removal reduces such trauma.”

David Venner, Vice President, Sales and Marketing U.S., Wound Care, Mölnlycke Health Care

“While companies are stepping up and closing the workflow design gap, many hospitals still lack the con- fidence that they will meet their end of the bargain in terms of training staff and holding them accountable for their roles.”

Kapil Asher, Director of Sales, Asset Tracking/Management, CenTrak, Inc.

egardless of clinical setting, physicians and surgeons grapple with a score of challenges that range from reform and reimbursement pressures to malpractice and the patient care benefits and costs of new and exist- ing technologies that foment frustration and burnout.

R Regardless of clinical setting, Supply

Chain leaders and staff juggle their own set of challenges that range from reform and reimbursement pressures to physi- cian preference issues and the patient care and economic viability and justifi- cation of products and services brought into the facility that ignite exasperation and at least partial surrender. At one end, these two groups seem to be plotting parallel pathways, running adjacent courses; at the other end, these two groups seem to be united in dealing with common — and shared — issues. Is it possible that healthcare is on the verge of bringing more clinical under- standing to Supply Chain and financial and operational acknowledgement to physicians and surgeons?

Two prominent physicians foresee

clinical integration with Supply Chain as one of the next big things in healthcare that will define the coming decade and elevate both professions by the next one. John Cherf, MD, MPH, MBA, Chief Medical Officer, Lumere Inc., and for- mer Chief of Orthopedics, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chi- cago, earned a P.U.R.E. designation by Healthcare Purchasing News back in July for being a Supply Chain-Focused Physician. Michael Suk, MD, JD, MPH, FACS, Chief Physician Officer, Geisinger System Services, and Chair, Musculo- skeletal Institute and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Geisinger Health, Danville, PA, earned his P.U.R.E. des- ignation from HPN two years earlier in August 2017. P.U.R.E. stands for Physi- cians Understanding, Respecting and Engaging Supply Chain professionals.


HPN bestows its P.U.R.E. award on those physicians and surgeons who have made solid contributions to supply chain operations — activities, practices and thinking. HPN designed it to further so- lidify and strengthen the clinical bonds between physicians and supply chain professionals.

Both doctors Cherf and Suk explored

with HPN Senior Editor Rick Dana Barlow the possibilities and promise of physicians and surgeons clinically integrating with Supply Chain in a wide- ranging interview, in advance of their educational session at AHRMM 2019 in San Diego in late July. HPN: Several surveys have addressed the changing status of physicians in hospitals that may correlate with their professional relationships with Supply Chain. For example, a recent survey showed that a majority of physicians working at hospitals now are employed by those facilities rather than being independent with operating privileges. Another study conducted last year by your organization showed that aligned/ employed physicians are less influenced by product preference and supplier sales strategies and tactics than those not employed by the facilities where they practice. How do you see both de- velopments impacting, if not reshaping, their ties with Supply Chain? Dr. Cherf: We’ve seen a rush to employ

physicians over the past few years. At this point, however, that model is somewhat pla- teauing as many health systems begin to rec- ognize they can lose money on employment of physicians. The value proposition is just not as great as hospitals and

John Cherf

health systems initially thought it was. In addition, alignment does not nec- essarily guarantee buy-in in terms of addressing clinical variation. As we edu-

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