I think just about everyone has experienced not being able to find their keys only to have another person come along without hesitation to find their keys sitting almost directly in their view. How did they see our keys and we didn’t? Well, sometimes you get so used to seeing what’s right in front of you that you tend to overlook everyday items that others can pick up right away.
How does this relate to value analysis in healthcare?
One of the tenants of our value analysis project management training is we want you to avoid assigning a value analysis project lead to the person who has ownership over the product, service or technology to be studied or works with the product every single day. Why wouldn’t we give the lead in the value analysis project to such a person given their expertise in the product, service or technology under investigation? Isn’t it logical to do so?
Logically yes, but in practice it doesn’t work, since they won’t see “The Keys” right in front of them, which are the waste, inefficiency, utilization misalignments or value mismatches that need to be clearly seen and observed to make savings and quality improvements happen. This occurs because they are too close to the product, service or technology to truly look and evaluate these products, service or technology objectively.
Here is even one more reason! We were having this “Keys” conversation with a Vice President of Patient Services at a client hospital the other day and she pointed out another reason why it may not be prudent to assign the product, service or technology expert as a value analysis project manager. This VP observed that these internal “Experts” have long-standing relationships that evolve around the product, service or technology they are buying and therefore would be protective and limited in the scope of their value analysis studies in order to defend the positive relationships that they have today with their co-workers. For example, if you assign your instrument expert who works day in and day out with your surgeons to lead an instrument value analysis study I guarantee there will be limits and boundaries on where he/she will go in their value analysis study in order to maintain, protect and defend these relationships.
The important point to remember here is we are not saying that the product, service or technology expert or key stakeholder should not be involved in the value analysis study at all. We are saying that they should not lead the value analysis product, service or technology team. These experts and stakeholders can be enlisted in other ways that will allow them to maintain their relationships, speak for their clinical or operations disciplines and be a true expert to your value analysis studies.
Don’t get us wrong, you do need “Experts” on your value analysis study sub-teams, but not leading them, or you run the risk of not hearing the voice of your customers, validation of your studies and assistance in implementing your recommendations.
Filed Under: Change Management