Integrated Delivery System Supply Chain … Marketing and communicating physician involving in supply cost management
A world renowned integrated healthcare delivery system (IDN) significantly upgraded the organization and management of its supply chain organization in 2009. As this new team set about managing the wide array of normal responsibilities within an enterprise wide supply chain group, the IDN’s CEO added an additional mission. They accepted this challenge from the CEO to effectively communicate to every physician practicing (across more than 15 internal medical institutes) in the organization (US and abroad) the cost implications of the critical supplies used in delivering quality healthcare.
This new management team had a lot at stake. The normal operation of the supply chain organization is challenging enough not to mention restructuring and the risk this presents to performance, reputation and job security. But a mission from the CEO regarding the supply chain was an unprecedented opportunity to establish and reinforce the strategic importance of the supply chain in such a vast organization. This couldn’t be a temporary or just “throw it together” activity. It had to be a professional, corporate level business/marketing communications campaign. Corporate communications within the IDN had no resources to spare, so the chief supply chain executive reached out and brought in professional marketing support he knew he could count on.
The supply chain group did have an intelligent but inexperienced manager to run the project, but what they needed was a highly effective framework and action plan to creatively and intuitively inform clinical staff regarding the individual and collective cost of the products used in the delivery of patient care along the entire continuum of care. Working collaboratively, Trestle Point created a Product Value Communication Plan that focused initially on physicians who deliver care and “write” care orders that determine product selection and use. Secondary to the physicians were nurses who actively participate in product consumption at the point of care. These clinical professionals were “mission critical” to this project because it is their decision making and behavior that drive product acquisition and utilization costs. As such, the plan had an integrated strategic component taking into consideration care delivery departments across the entire enterprise. In order to stage the project in manageable segments, it was initiated within the peri-operative and laboratory departments and from there refined and “rolled-out” to the entire organization.
In addition to a thoroughly mapped-out communications process and plan, integral to the success of the project was the effective communications messages conceived to convey the importance of the clinicians role, the inevitable impact of healthcare reform on reimbursement, and the utmost responsibility to be “professionally conscious” of what products cost and the effect product choice has on clinical quality, outcomes, cost, and total value. Based the on the synergy between the plan, the messages, the vehicles created and the commitment of the team involved (including a CEO designated physician partner) the program has produced demonstrative effect on the organization’s understanding and behavior regarding product “cost visibility”.