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by John Cherf, MD, MPH, MBA, Chief Medical Officer, Lumere

As value-based care continues to impact healthcare decision-making, supply chain must shift how they interact with clinical stakeholders. In a clinically integrated supply chain, leaders from both areas collaborate to make medical device choices driven by clinical evidence and operational data. Below I outline seven best practices for supply chain teams looking to engage clinical leaders.

  1. Ensure the Dialogue is Transparent: Lay out the needs of your initiative, explain why it’s pressing, and outline goals, metrics and constraints. By level-setting early, you can quickly move to discussing real solutions. 
  2. Carve out a Specific Role: Be explicit about the role you envision clinical leaders playing in supply chain. For example: directly describe how physician involvement will ensure patient care remains at the core. Talk to clinical leaders about any education or training they may need. 
  3. Acknowledge Mutual Expertise: Supply chain plays a critical role in identifying issues that physicians may not be aware of and asks questions that surface assumptions and bottlenecks. In turn, supply chain leaders do not have the same level of clinical understanding that often informs physician preference. 
  4. Share Data: A recent survey found that 91% of physicians believe that increasing their access to cost data would positively affect care quality. Ask your clinicians what data and insights they need. Once you have a clear direction, deliver the data in a digestible and actionable format. 
  5. Tackle Cost Head On: Don’t be afraid to talk about money. However, root cost conversations in clinical evidence and real-world practice. Understand the nuances of how physicians and nurses utilize a chosen product and work with them to determine what the evidence says about utilization, safety and outcomes. 
  6. Frame the Discussion: Align physicians around practice guidelines (e.g., reducing infection rates, improving operational efficiency in the OR or expanding a service line). Pull in industry and competitive benchmarking data to understand areas of opportunity. 
  7. Streamline the Partnership: Design workflows and tools to be concise and turnkey. Putting yourself in clinicians’ shoes will go a long way in improving engagement and compliance.