Supply chain tip of the week: Organizing your value analysis program – less is more

Many hospital value analysis programs share a common problem — they have too many teams, filled with too many members. As a result, these value analysis teams (VATs) are often ineffective at making product decisions, said Rob Austin, an associate director of healthcare performance excellence at Chicago-based Navigant.

He shared the following tip with Becker's Hospital Review.

"We almost always see the 'less is more' principle in value analysis programs that work well. These effective programs have few core teams (five or less) and fewer members per team (eight to 15 members is optimal). Instead of requiring every facility to have a representative on every VAT, they allow a spokesperson from a specific department in one facility to have accountability for communication with and representation of the same department in two to four other facilities.

"They also use a small steering committee to set direction and establish governance for the program. The committee serves as a tie-breaker when a VAT cannot agree upon a product decision and optimally consists of a senior executive from each of the following functions: nursing, physician leadership, finance, operations and quality. Finally, successful programs create small sub-teams of key stakeholders in specific categories (i.e. orthopedic hips and knees, food service) to formulate the product recommendations and present it to the larger value analysis team for approval."

If you would like to submit a supply chain tip, please email Mackenzie Bean at


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