The Healthcare Hub

The Secret to a Successful Sourcing Initiative? Physician Input

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Given the downward price movement of drug-eluting stents across the vendor spectrum over the last couple of years, I joined expert service line advisor Thomas Biel at a recent GHX Summit Satellite webinar to shine a light on the untapped savings opportunities hiding within the coronary revascularization product category

A big topic of our conversation was the high level of clinical commoditization amongst coronary stents. In other words, no drug-eluting coronary stent has consistently demonstrated clinical superiority in peer-reviewed literature, despite market share differences.

However, a high level of commoditization does not mean that supply chain teams should automatically discount the clinical aspects of products during a sourcing initiative. Clinical considerations will always be half of the value analysis/sourcing equation when working in any physician preference category, which is why it is so essential to incorporate input from the physicians who are using these products every day.

So, what’s the most effective way to involve and leverage these physician partners? Polling physicians using a centralized workflow tool like the one GHX Lumere provides allows you to quickly and easily understand what attributes are important to them. Having this knowledge will invariably help guide your contracting options.

And depending on the outcome of those contracting options, your organization may decide to shift market share—a move that your clinical staff will view much more benevolently when you include physicians from the beginning. As someone who has worked in supply chain for more than five years, I've unfortunately seen many instances where supply chain teams negotiate incredible pricing but have no ability to meet the commitments due to a lack of physician buy-in. This all-too-common circumstance can be avoided by simply remembering to include your physician partners when sourcing physician-preference categories, even with just a simple poll.

I dive deeper into best practices that sourcing teams can adopt during a sourcing initiative in the 45-minute webinar, which also uncovers savings opportunities you may be sleeping on in the coronary revascularization product category.

Image Description

Kristin Motter, MBA, BSN, RN, CHVAP

Strategic Sourcing Consultant, GHX Lumere