Driving Value

HonorHealth’s Lisa Lavalette said value analysis teams are better equipped for today’s supply chain challenges.

April 2023 – The Journal of Healthcare Contracting

Disruptions are here to stay in the healthcare supply chain. Yet because of this, hospitals and health systems are better equipped to deal with critical product shortages and disruptions than they were a few years ago. “Over the last couple of years, we have upgraded and improved our processes, policies and employee training to confront and manage these disruptions,” said Lisa Lavalette, clinical value analysis program director, HonorHealth in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Our supply chain team uses these processes to apply mitigation strategies. In addition, we are still evolving using data analytics to drive value and partner with our service lines.”

By having these processes in place, Lavalette said it has enabled the Value Analysis team to focus more on collaborating with clinicians versus primary sourcing. HonorHealth has Value Analysis teams that cover areas such as:

  • Cardiovascular Services, Interventional Radiology and Imaging
  • Perioperative Services
  • Nursing
  • Wound
  • Lab 
  • Pharmacy
  • Purchased Services
  • Food
  • IT and Corporate Services

Another area they have improved is their New Product Approval Process. HonorHealth uses a computerized tool for internal stakeholders and physicians to request a new product and/or technology. The system is called Lumere, and provides the Value Analysis team with key information to make evidence-based decisions.

It provides a framework for evaluating products through cross references, basic product facts, product manufacturers, clinical purposes or applications, FDA approval pathway, recent recalls and associated evident insights. It delivers relevant research to key stakeholders via email and collects feedback through online voting and keeps them informed of the status of their request. It also provides peer-reviewed clinical studies.

Screening suppliers

Many of HonorHealth’s suppliers are on contract with Premier, the IDN’s primary GPO. The GPO vets and credentials these suppliers in their contracting vendor selection process. For the non-GPO contracts, suppliers are evaluated through HonorHealth’s Supply Chain Value Analysis process. All suppliers must register through Symplr and adhere to HonorHealth Vendor Credentialing system procedures.

Suppliers work with HonorHealth’s Strategic Sourcing & Engagement team to identify new products utilizing their new product review process. “We are consistently assessing our suppliers,” said Lavalette. Some of the parameters they consider include: 

  • Years in Business
  • Benchmark Data about the Supplier
  • Supplier Diversity
  • IDN Customer References
  • Production Capacity-Supply Disruptions
  • Sustainability

Future improvements

When asked what one thing Lavalette would change to help improve the value analysis process in the future, she said establishing a clinical supply utilization management program. “We have elements of this program currently in place, but not an established program,” she said. “Having a program like this could provide an additional 7-15% savings in total non-salaried budget.

“We need to look at savings beyond price. Point-of-care is where we could be losing money,” Lavalette continued. “Looking into this allows us to understand how our staff use products daily. We need to find and eliminate misutilization by tracking KPI comparatives.

“In order to optimize clinical utilization and to get next-level savings, we need to gather support from our leaders and clinicians by aligning with our Value Analysis teams. These teams can use sub teams to help deal with utilization misalignment in their departments. We must show clinicians the data through baseline reporting.”

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