There has been a lot of buzz in supply chain circles since the book “Checklist Manifesto”, authored by Atul Gawande, was published in 2009. The theme of the book was how to get things right in the complex world that we live and work in. Since Gawande is a cancer surgeon it made the context of the book even more interesting for healthcare professionals since he had many examples of how surgeons used checklists to dramatically improve the quality and safety of their surgery.
With this idea in mind, I thought it would be helpful to our readers to have a “Supply utilization management checklist” to navigate through the complexity of the supply utilization management methodology to get it right the first time. Here is short check list to get you started on this journey to new and better savings:
- What supplies/services are increasing at a double-digit rate?
- When was the last time you shadowed your customers to determine their exact functional requirements for a product?
- Are you tracking and trending the in use total cost of your products, services and technologies quarterly/annually?
- Are you benchmarking your utilization with peer hospitals?
- Are you controlling variations in product usage versus demand
- Is your value analysis team(s) focused on utilization or just price?
- Are you mapping your value streams to detect waste and inefficiencies in your supply expenses?
As I mentioned, this short checklist is meant to jump start your utilization management investigations to uncover those wasteful practices that are costing your healthcare organization 7% to 15% in new savings. It’s my hope that you will add to this list as you, too, identify those things that contribute to utilization misalignments at your hospital, system or IDN. That’s how you simplify the complexity of your utilization methodology: Checklists. This simple tool will then give you surprising power to master this new supply chain discipline.