Quality Rules with Analytics Software

More and more healthcare supply chain departments are signing up for analytics software, but then are disappointed with the results. How could this happen?

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Let’s face it, your analytics software is only as good as the data you entered into it. If your data isn’t clean, normalized, and cataloged properly you won’t be able to interpret your data properly. For instance, no freeform data should be allowed into your MMIS or MRP system since it can and will corrupt your analytics. Remember the old adage, “garbage in, garbage out.”

Benchmarks Not Believed and Not Accepted

It is very easy to state that, “We are different and benchmarks don’t apply to us,” but it’s much harder to answer the question, “Why are we different?” In many situations, your hospital is different only because you say it is, and not because it really is different. We find there is always a reason why a hospital has too high or too low a benchmark compared to their peers. Frequently, it’s because the hospital is wasting money on practices that are inefficient or don’t make any sense any more.

Trust the Data to Lead the Way to Savings

Too often, the interpretation of the analytics leads to an action that the supply chain department doesn’t want to take, such as, having a dialog with a department head or manager about their specific utilization misalignments. This then isn’t the fault of the software, but a reluctance on management’s part to trust the data to lead the way to savings. It’s been our experience that the low-cost supply chain hospitals have these discussions on a regular basis with their department heads and managers, while the high-cost supply chain departments rarely have these discussions.

Analytics Software Is Only One-Tenth of the Solution

As we have outlined above, analytics software is only one-tenth of the solution to saving money and improving quality. The data input, believing the benchmarks, and having discussions with your department heads and managers about their utilization misalignments is the other nine-tenths of the solution. If you follow this path we have recommended to savings and quality improvements, you will be delighted with your analytics software. If you don’t follow this course, don’t blame your analytics software for your slow savings pace or worse yet, zero savings. It’s time to look in the mirror.