ECRI Blog

Five Ways Value Analysis and Supply Chain Leaders Can Improve Transparency

Today’s value analysis leaders face tall orders. They need to focus on process improvements, utilize and embrace digital advancements, and provide greater transparency and visibility during new product evaluation and product standardization requests. Having access to the right combination of tools and information can empower them to accomplish these objectives as they work to balance cost, quality, and outcome goals.

Many of ECRI’s value analysis members confirm the need to support and drive greater transparency in their own value analysis programs. Adding greater visibility can make others feel connected and more actively involved and responsible during the decision-making process. It also provides an opportunity to shape a more integrated clinical support system–one that helps drive evidence-based decisions on new products, technology, and capital projects. Finally, greater visibility can break down silos and alleviate communication barriers, most often common when working across multiple, diverse departments.

Read More

Topics: Supply Chain, Technology Assessment, Value-Based Care Outcomes, ECRI, Evidence-based decision making, Informed Decision-making, Clinically Integrated Supply Chain, Value Analysis Management, Value Analysis, Unbiased Clinical Evidence, Decision-Making Support, Tansparency, Transparent Value Analysis Management

Use a Predictive Replacement Plan to Create a Better Capital Replacement Process—and Include these 6 Questions

We all know the adage, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. It can even apply to your hospital’s capital budget planning exercise.

Capital requests include both replacement items for existing equipment and new or additional purchases, and the process tends to move quickly. Unfortunately, the loudest voices usually get the bulk of the available capital dollars, and smaller departments often are left out.

A Predictive Replacement Plan, or PRP, can streamline this process and provide objective recommendations regarding the replacement of capital equipment in a systemic manner.

A PRP is a deep dive into the capital medical inventory of a health care institution which is then used to develop and coordinate an unbiased 5 or 10-year replacement schedule, based on multiple objective factors, including organizational goals and patient needs. It is not based solely on the age of the equipment or the subjective desire or influence of a department director or physician. A PRP is based on multiple objective factors including device recall data, OEM support, part availability from OEM and aftermarket sources, changing technologies, device utilization, and clinical needs of the clinician.

Read More

Topics: Health Devices, Supply Chain, Equipment Planning, Technology Assessment, ECRI, Evidence-based decision making, Leadership, Vaccines, Inventory, predictive replacement planning, Thought Leadership

PPE Mask Checklist for Better Omicron Protection: Wear This, Not That

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Feb 18, 2022

In the halls of government, school board meetings, and neighborhood shopping centers across the world, debates continue about the value of masking for protection against COVID-19 infections. But ECRI experts and other healthcare leaders stress that now is no time to let our guard down nor shed our PPE masks.

Rather, let’s take what we’ve learned about PPE during this pandemic, and use it to better protect ourselves against COVID-19’s omicron variant, which is estimated to be two to four times more contagious than earlier strains of the virus. We know that masks work, wearing a mask reduces the speed of virus transmission, and not all masks are created equal.

Read More

Topics: Risk Management, Patient Safety, Supply Chain, COVID-19, Clinical Excellence, ECRI, Leadership, Pandemic Leadership, Thought Leadership, Public Health, PPE Masks

Supply Chain Shortages Ranked Second Among Top 10 Risks Facing Healthcare Organizations

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Jan 28, 2022

ECRI’s Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2022 ranks supply chain shortages among the top three risks facing healthcare organizations. The ranking is for good reason: patient lives may be at risk if essential medical supplies and equipment are unavailable. This risk increases as global supply chain disruption continues to impact healthcare organizations. According to an October 2021 report on healthcare performance, at least 80 percent of hospitals reported supply shortages.

Shortages can stem from the impact of the pandemic, which has sometimes brought manufacturing to a halt. Others are the result of vulnerabilities in traditional supply chain planning, such as keeping limited amounts of products in storage and relying on fast delivery. Weather events and other force majeure incidents also play a role. Together, these create a cascade effect that causes many healthcare organizations to struggle to locate, purchase, and obtain supplies:  

  • Raw material shortages increase prices and reduce output. For example, shortages of resin impact the availability of plastic and magnesium shortages affect the availability of aluminum – causing issues for manufacturers.
  • Suppliers who rely heavily on offshore manufacturers that have been disrupted by the pandemic or global weather events need to find supplies elsewhere.
  • Supply chain practices and other pressures reduced organizations’ stockpiles of critical supplies. “Just-in-time’ supply chain models, designed to reduce the need for physical inventory, are upended when products can’t be sourced or delivered on time.  
  • Logistical challenges, such as ongoing trucking, shipping, and delivery issues brought on by the pandemic, delay delivery of critical supplies.  
Read More

Topics: Risk Management, Health Devices, Supply Chain, Technology Trends, Equipment Planning, COVID-19, Clinical Excellence, ECRI, Clinical Evidence Assessment, Evidence-based decision making, Value-based care, Best-practice evidence-based medicine, Leadership, Inventory

A Better Way to Manage Your Supply Chain Needs

Posted by Edward Nuber, Director of Marketing, ECRI on Aug 25, 2021

During the past year, we were reminded of the critical role that supply chain plays in clinical care and overall operations. While our industry has adapted and grown to weather the COVID crisis, now is no time to return to business as usual. The roller coaster ride has slowed, but not stopped; supply chain still faces tremendous challenges such as product shortages, geo-political implications, increased costs, longer delivery times, worker shortages, lack of transparency, and other inventory challenges. Consider the following:

Read More

Topics: Supply Chain, Technology Trends, Equipment Planning, Clinical Excellence, Evidence-Based Medicine, Clinical Evidence Assessment, Evidence-based decision making, Value-based care, Best-practice evidence-based medicine

ECRI’s COO in Modern Healthcare: Use Supply Chain to Achieve Care Goals and Preparedness

It’s a critical time for healthcare leaders as they face new challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and continued declining reimbursements. In a recent Modern Healthcare article, ECRI’s Executive VP and COO, Tony Montagnolo, was featured alongside other industry leaders on the topic of COVID-19 and the market pressures thought to be reshaping procurement. Here’s what he shared with Modern Healthcare on his vision and strategies for reaching value-based care goals and wisely preparing your health care system for the future.

Read More

Topics: Patient Safety, Supply Chain, Technology Assessment

The EtO Sterilization Dilemma

Ethylene oxide (EtO) sterilization has been in the news a lot lately, and healthcare has much at stake. According to officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approximately 56% of all critical medical devices are sterilized using industrial EtO sterilization. Currently, there are no validated industrial alternatives, so additional closures of EtO processing facilities would have the potential to impair the U.S. healthcare system.

While some state legislators are considering bans on industrial EtO sterilization facilities, healthcare leaders, manufacturers, and FDA have been reviewing options to ensure the availability of sterile medical devices and supplies necessary for patient care.

Read More

Topics: Health Devices, Patient Safety, Supply Chain

Three Costly Pitfalls of Purchased Services Contracts

Purchased services are seen as the next great savings frontier in healthcare—and with good reason. Spend on purchased services accounts for approximately 30 to 35 percent of a hospital’s non-labor expenditures. Tapping into even a small portion of that spend can lead to significant financial savings. However, purchased services contracts are complex and the legal language can be difficult to understand. What seems like a competitively low price may actually result in unexpected charges and poor performance outcomes.

Over the past few years, I’ve worked with many hospitals and health systems on purchased services contracts and have seen my share of “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” What are some of the recurring themes? Some vendors bury language that is advantageous to their business. They omit key information and make performance management difficult for the hospital. While every purchased services contract is unique and every circumstance is different, it is possible to mitigate common traps and omissions that can lead to unexpected costs, poor performance, and no remedy when things go south.

Looking for service contract pitfalls to avoid? Check out my top three purchased services contract problem areas to gain the insight you need to improve the quality of services and drive savings across your organization.

Read More

Topics: Supply Chain

Knowledge is Power

Our evidence supports the advancement of care around the world. Read our articles, get industry updates and trends, and learn a little more about us on the ECRI blog.

Subscribe for Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

See all