“In my opinion, a physician’s skills are intrinsic. I always told hospitals that I can use any product to get the same outcome — most of the time — because what if someday I moved to another hospital or another country where those products were unavailable? Being stuck on one brand makes you a less capable surgeon, again in my humble opinion.”

Jimmy Chung, MD, FACS, CHCQM, Director, Medical Products Analysis, Providence Health & Services, Seattle

“I have heard stories that some ASCs believe that AAMI ST79, the standard for best practices in sterile processing, may not be applicable to them, as they are different from acute-care facilities; nothing could be further from reality. Every facility, including ASCs, that reprocesses instruments, should own and follow ST79.”

John Nies, Product Manager, Belimed Inc.,

“The biggest obstacle to PPE compli- ance is attitude; healthcare workers have this idea that they’re bulletproof. Doing compliance rounds on the pa- tients on isolation and watching to see if people are using PPE appropriately have helped to shift attitudes and im- prove practices.”

Laura Buford, RN, BSN, CIC, APIC Communi- cations Committee Chair; Infection Preven- tionist/Employee Health Nurse, Lakeway Regional Medical Center

“Each day when I interact with OR staff, I am dealing with certified, educated individuals who know his/ her given field. I can more effectively gain their trust and respect — and I can more effectively meet their needs and answer questions — when I am also a certified, educated expert in my own field.”

Joel Benge, CRCST, CIS, CHL, OR Liaison

for Sterile Processing, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare, Louisville, Ky

“While these prices have declined, there is still a lot of concern for their volatility. For one thing, fuel prices are beginning to rise again. There is also an increasing cost to operate — from driver and warehouse worker salaries to the manufacturing of goods. So a decrease in the price of fuel is just one variable in the equation.”

Christopher DiBernardi, Director, Business & Product Development, Healthcare, Ryder


Supply Chain, physicians bond around new technology

by Rick Dana Barlow

hile physicians and surgeons al- ways carry their clinical and profes- sional intelligence and know-how, they expect high-tech and standard devices and equipment to be accessible to them at all times.

W This is where Supply Chain comes in and

consistently delivers, hopefully satisfying those expectations. Many times the process works smoothly; sometimes, less so.

To explore the ins and outs of this process, members of Vizient Inc.’s Large IDN Supply Network (LISN) conducted some extensive research on “Managing New Technology.” Their objective: To identify the critical com- ponents of the structures and processes for managing new medical technologies, identify key elements considered leading or innova- tive and share successes and challenges. Vizient’s LISN includes Supply Chain executives from 21 of the group purchasing organization’s largest IDNs. Formed in 2004 under one of Vizient’s heritage GPOs, Nova- tion, LISN aims to share leading practices and data to help address IDN challenges, drive supply chain performance improve- ment across the industry and assist in the development of high-value, differentiating supply chain solutions.

Supply Chain executives from two LISN

members — Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, and Novant Health, Winston-Salem, NC — agreed to share their insights on their technol- ogy evaluation and procurement structure and processes with Healthcare Purchasing News Senior Editor Rick Dana Barlow.

HPN: How do you see Supply Chain’s professional relationship changing with physicians and surgeons when it comes to technology horizon scanning and evaluat- ing “new” technology? Jim Francis, Division Chair, Supply Chain, Mayo Clinic: Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen the relationship with physicians become much more collaborative. Physi- cians used to simply want the latest technology because it was “new.” Now they want to have Supply Chain involved in the process much earlier to evaluate the necessity of that technology. This early in- volvement helps support the physicians and


ensure that purchasing decisions are on track organizationally and clinically. Mark Welch, Senior Vice

President, Supply Chain, Novant Health: Our CEO instituted the practice of including physicians in lead- ership and decision-making across the organization —

not just supply chain. When we have a business issue, the physicians are included from the beginning and this helps us achieve results quickly. We certainly see this new, more collaborative relationship with physicians in the Supply Chain department. Historically, physicians would request new technology and then simply expect Supply Chain to bring it in. Today, we have formed a true partnership with physicians that allow us to collaboratively vet new products and make strategic decisions that ultimately benefit patients. Physicians are now deeply embedded in our supply chain processes — they have a seat at the table. To- gether, we look at how the new technologies can benefit clinicians and patients, while also lowering costs for the organization.

What benefits can Supply Chain gain by working so closely with physicians and surgeons to identify and evaluate new technology? FRANCIS: In short, Supply Chain will benefit by buying fewer things that do not work out operationally or clinically. Often in the past when new products came to market, Supply Chain would buy immediately — usually due to physician/clinician request — but then quickly realize just because it was “new,” it was not the best for the patient. Now, in contrast, we first ask the physician what the business need is before buying new technologies. What does the physician need the technology to do to enhance patient care? What technology at- tributes are important? Then Supply Chain can compare those desired features with “new” technology to see if clinical needs will be met before making any purchases. We no longer act in isolation, but in concert. Alisha Hutchens, Senior

Director, Supply Chain Administration, Novant Health: Supply Chain ben- efits by learning how physi- cians differentiate products and technology, how a prod-

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