The rising cost of healthcare.
We hear about it 24/7 – in the papers, on the news, even when I travel and talk with people from other countries. I get asked “what’s the real problem?” and “why can’t we figure it out?”
What if I told you many of the answers to these issues in healthcare are already in your hands?
Did you just chuckle?
In my role as region director at Premier, Inc., I look for ways to reduce costs and optimize care in healthcare systems across the U.S. The first place to start: the data.
The answer to almost every problem is already somewhere in-house. We just have to find it and then figure out what to do with it.
Depending on who I’m working with determines where I start. If I’m meeting with the CFO, they may want to look at how their supply cost per adjusted patient day measures up vs. their peers.
If I’m working with an OR director, we may look at ways to reduce costs by optimizing their reprocessing program.
The pharmacy directors are always looking for ways to manage the rising costs of “old drugs.”
Answers to these questions (and many more) lie in what they’re purchasing and how they’re using it.
That’s where I come in!
I like a challenge, and puzzles interest me to no end. It’s not always easy, but with different analytic tools at my fingertips, I can take the organization’s data, and slice/dice/compare it to uncover the best solution to the problem.
To give you an example, I recently worked with a group of 4 facilities to help develop a process to implement change.
Using a tool to integrate quality, safety and financial data, combined with a tool to analyze total supply spend, they found opportunities to reduce cost in the physician preference arena. We devised a process to mine for opportunities using comparative peer groups, look at associated cost opportunities and monitor the progress to create accountability.
Once an initiative is selected, they’ll have a repeatable, standardized process to follow created using Lean practices. Most importantly, they’ll have the ability to implement and track the changes to record the cost reduction.
Data will always give us the answer, but what to do with that answer is the real challenge (aka fun)!
For me, the best part of this job is the intersection of data and healthcare improvement. I get to use advanced analytics, build personal relationships and measure the impact we’re having on healthcare organizations. And it doesn’t get any better than that.