Where supply chain analytics can go wrong: 3 Qs with BroadJump's Lauren Davis

Lauren Davis, product director of medical-surgical solutions at BroadJump, an expense management company, recently spoke with Becker's Hospital Review about the key opportunities for healthcare supply chain teams, emerging technologies in the supply chain space and advice to healthcare leaders on reining in costs.

Here's what she had to say:

Editor's Note: Responses were edited for length and clarity.

Question: What is the biggest opportunity for healthcare supply chain teams?

Lauren Davis: In recent years, the role of the healthcare supply chain has vastly expanded. As a result, supply chain teams have the opportunity to take on more of a strategic position within their organization by focusing on process improvement and decision support.

But many supply chain leaders find that their days are dictated by emergency situations and savings initiatives by contract expiration. So, the question becomes how can we put ourselves in the driver's seat? Enlisting the right partners within your healthcare system and externally will help reduce preventable errors, eliminate manual processes, and ultimately free-up time to effectively manage expenses, instead of them managing you.

Q: When it comes to emerging technologies in the supply chain space, what innovations are you excited about? What innovations have been over-hyped?

LD: There is no doubt the healthcare supply chain has recognized that data is essential to success, but there is a lot of noise in the supply chain analytics space today. The wrong analytics can be overwhelming and lead to a waste of time and resources if the results don't translate into answers. There are several companies that offer compelling insights, and many healthcare systems are developing homegrown solutions that fit their specific needs. Whatever the approach, it's important to pinpoint data that is clear and actionable to truly realize its potential. The healthcare organizations we work with use pricing data organized by spend, volume and market share to identify attainable savings opportunities.

Q: What advice would you offer healthcare leaders looking to rein in costs like physician preference item spend?

LD: You're limiting yourself by not collaborating with your clinical team. One of the hot topics in healthcare today is the clinically integrated supply chain — involving the physician team in supply chain decisions reveals opportunities to improve pricing through standardization, while also providing opportunities to realize savings through utilization improvements. A physician's focus is on quality care, so approaching them with data that combines costs with outcomes will help achieve the shared mission.

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