The Healthcare Hub
With supply costs rising upwards of 20 percent since 2019, having an effective product evaluation process in place at your health system is more critical than ever. During this conversation, GHX Lumere’s Erinn Zacharias, Ph.D., and Suzanne Smith, BSN, RN, highlight the most important considerations for evaluating and approving new medical devices, particularly when a quick decision is needed.
Drawing on decades of research and value analysis experience, Erinn and Suzanne also discuss how evidence can act as the common language in conversations with vendors, colleagues and clinicians, underscoring the importance of access to unbiased research.
The Importance of Evidence
First and foremost, we strongly believe that all clinical product decisions must be anchored in evidence. After all, product decisions can significantly impact patient outcomes, as well as the safety of both patients and staff. Much like any other major decision we make in our personal and professional lives, some legwork is necessary to compare options and reach an informed decision.
When we talk about evidence, we are of course referring to the information you find in peer-reviewed literature, but our definition extends beyond that to also include:
Defining the Process
Establishing a standard process for new product introduction builds trust with physicians and clinicians and helps set clear expectations with vendors, leading to fewer disruptions. I believe there are three critical components in a sustainable process:
For any product evaluation, the first step must involve context setting. This includes developing an understanding of both the product being requested and the rationale behind the request. Once that occurs, the next step should be to conduct a more in-depth evaluation of the current landscape, product attributes and current clinical practices.
Beyond the need for speed and efficiency, the current challenges are creating broader opportunities for supply chain and value analysis teams to make valuable and meaningful contributions to their health systems’ ongoing success. While these are difficult times for all of us, I look forward to seeing how the expanded use of evidence as part of a clearly defined process can lead to positive and lasting clinical and financial outcomes in the days and years ahead.