Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) is an external motivator for providers to lead the re-engineering of healthcare delivery. Key measurements that comprise an effective VBP strategy are: improvements in patient care and safety, timeliness, and streamlining processes which make care more patient centered and equitable. Providers are looking for tools to incorporate into their standard operating procedures which help to improve these metrics.
Venipuncture is one of the most common and frequent invasive procedures within an acute care facility and is often cited as painful when repeated sticks are necessary. The HCAPHS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey is interested in gauging patient pain and contains a survey question about pain management. Vein visualization technology is becoming a crucial tool to help mitigate negative pain metrics.
Failed venipuncture attempts aren’t just a pain for patients, they can hurt facilities too, causing increased costs per procedure, (e.g., needles, catheters, gauze, etc.) It’s estimated that every attempt to insert a peripheral catheter can cost a facility about $32. Decreased staff productivity can occur because a missed vein requires the procedure to be repeated; productivity can be further impacted should the caregiver have to escalate the procedure to specialized staff. Delays in treatment and diagnosis can occur because lab work is held up. Higher costs may be incurred when more invasive procedures are required to gain venous access.
AccuVein’s vein illumination technology based on independent clinical studies have shown to improve first stick success rates by 98%, reduce escalation calls by 45%, improve ability to cannulate by 81%, reduce pain by 59%. In addition, 93% of patients surveyed would give hospitals a higher satisfaction score if they used AccuVein. Due to these improved metrics, many AccuVein customers are incorporating vein visualization into their standard of care.
A few thoughts I would like to share with you from my experience working with Southern California health systems is that the key in process improvement is to implement an adequate standardization of AccuVein devices to see the full benefit. We have a few facilities that identified a lean six sigma project around 'delayed therapy secondary to inability to gain venous access' that implemented AccuVein house wide, and the projects all showed process improvements with the implementation of AccuVein.
The key was and is standardization and utilization to gain the full value of AccuVein. The AccuVein device, when placed in a facility with adequate numbers and in proper locations, will yield untold value across many areas, from meeting the goals hospital systems have set forth with respect to skills, to decreasing treatment delays , to increasing patient satisfaction scores. We have been successful with this manufacturer due to the ease of substantiating to value analysis committees the need to implement adequate numbers of devices and which actual geographical locations will yield the best utilization. Also, discussing adding AccuVein to the IV policy, and that successful pull through of utilization comes with the implementation of best nursing practice council meetings to facilitate the ongoing process.
Hospitals are facing many challenges and vein visualization can help meet these challenges. Patient satisfaction is core to today’s healthcare providers as it impacts reimbursement. Controlling costs isn’t optional. It’s part of everything providers do. Excellent patient care is why providers go to work every day.
Consolidation. It’s happened; or at least happening. As healthcare reform continues to influence our customer’s decisions, we are asked more than ever to define our value—and it’s a good question.
As a national outsourced sale solution, we have many answers. Yes, we consider ourselves experts on the products and manufacturers we represent. Yes, we feel there is value in being able to broaden a conversation into multiple avenues based on representing more than just one product line. Yes, we cover multiple markets with multiple, market specific teams and are responsible for our customer’s needs, wants and maybe more importantly: problems. And while these are all categories we continue to strive to be experts in, at the end of the day, it’s what any good employer would want out of their employees- outsourced or not. So the question remains, “what is our true value?” The answer might best be described today as navigation.
Only a few years ago, a trend that had existed for over 3 decades was still the norm. Our sales reps responded to the needs of our customers through our distribution partners, reacting to their every need and taking care of them no matter what—many times without the chance to take a second breath.
But as more and more Health Care Systems or “IDN’s” expand and attempt to increase their geographical and market based patient reach, we recognize the need to become experts in their business. The running joke is “If you’ve seen one IDN, you seen one,” and it’s all too real as no two are alike.
These system-based customers are becoming the new norm, and to be successful we are becoming complete experts in their business. We continue to provide the same thorough support and service as we have in the past, but our priorities have shifted to knowing absolutely everything about these customers and being able to navigate throughout their systems as well as help them navigate within the world of our manufacturers.
Today our conversations with these customers focus on GPO alignment to help best position them to maximize savings. We discuss their goals as it pertains to efficiencies and their “pain points” to identify the best opportunities our manufacturer partners have to offer. We spend our time proactively targeting specific areas with our customers help to provide the best solutions.
In a market where customers are larger and often trying to find ways to order product more infrequently and at a lower cost, we understand the importance each transaction plays and treat them with more urgency than ever. We use tools like CRM to track and manage opportunities and have a targeting approach with our customers. We continue to rely heavily on our distribution partners for their guidance and navigation with our customers.
Through this consolidation, the IDN and system-based customers will soon control the majority of the heath care business across the country. We know that it is necessary to able to navigate within these systems and understand that it is paramount to our current partners and future partners interests.