The second in a three-part series on the 2017 AHRMM Cost-Quality-Outcomes (CQO) Summit
As a nurse by training, Anne Snowdon, BScN, MSc, PhD., is appalled by the fact that preventable medical errors are a leading cause of death in both the U.S. and Canada.[i],[ii] As a researcher, she believes the supply chain holds the key to help reduce the numbers of patients who are harmed, not healed, in the hospitals of the two neighboring nations.
A group of providers joined GHX at the recent AHRMM conference for discussion about the challenges facing supply chain to deliver quality data to clinical teams and how to interface this data for charge reconciliation and billing. A growing item master, subsequent data management and maintenance, and clinician frustration were among the primary concerns discussed.
There are foundational challenges that supply chain is currently facing, specifically in the connection of item master data to the EHR. What has been considered best practice for item master/data management is now being questioned with the increased use of EHR technology. Current thinking is that in attempt to both increase accuracy in patient records and reduce missed charges, more is better. As a result, the item master is growing and imposing a significant impact on workflow, maintenance, etc.
How can you significantly influence your supply chain performance without the help of additional resources?
Healthcare provider organizations are tasked with this dilemma daily and the goal to go beyond just managing costs, but to actually reduce costs while improving patient outcomes. Supply chain specifically goes after this challenge with an eye toward expanding automation, using data proactively and improving contract price alignment.
The healthcare industry is undergoing a transformation aimed at providing higher quality, more cost-effective care. Key to striking the balance between cost and quality is data.
At GHX, we know data can help organizations set strategic direction and direct critical business and care decisions. However, this only holds true when “bad data” does not serve as the foundation for efficient and effective value analysis efforts.
For instance, healthcare providers take advantage of their supply chain data to help reduce cost and improve standardized patient care. That data, coupled with predictive analytics, helps to better anticipate future product demand — which enables providers to avoid losing speed to patient care due to discontinued or backordered products.
Healthcare organizations have traditionally worked to limit the product data held in item masters to the products used most commonly. Today, with expanded use of electronic health records, the item master is becoming more of a strategic asset and the single source of truth for item information in multiple systems. This evolution suggests that the item master may become more valuable by extending item data beyond routine stock and products.
Content is enabling provider and supplier organizations to make more strategic and effective business decisions in a rapidly changing market. Among the many forces driving change in healthcare are financial pressures, regulatory reform, systems change and standardization, and a surge in mergers and acquisitions.
Inaccurate data is limiting organizations from realizing the game-changing power big data can bring to healthcare. Clinical and financial benefits are within reach, but bad or “dirty” data continues to be the Achilles heel of actionable information in healthcare.