AHRMM 2022 was a true knowledge exchange. I’m forever grateful to the people that support healthcare organizations. If you’re still standing after the last two years, you won. You made it to the final level of Jumanji! AHRMM brought it all together for me as I tried to soak up the lessons learned, and tactical strategies shared through the COVID-19 era. Through this experience, I also found out I was wrong about a few things.
Three Key Lessons Learned:
- A data exception costs a hospital way more than $7.61! Our booth visitors disagreed with us at AHRMM. We stated, based on a recent GPO study, that $7.61 is the cost of a discrepancy (an SKU exception in the item master). We were told time and time again, that number is way too low. Every single person that came to our booth and read our Search for Solutions question: On average, how much does it cost for an employee to fix one incorrect medical/surgical item in the item master (employee earning $38,000 annual salary)? A. $1.52 B. $3.04 C. 5.47 D. $7.61
All came back with $150, $75, $350 per exception! When we mentioned that the study was based on 25 minutes (to resolve) every hospital representative said it takes way more than 25 minutes, it usually involves multiple people, and those employees typically make more than 38K! I love this feedback because these are the people that really understand the cost of a data breakpoint in an item master. And I’m not here on this earth to listen to people who agree with me! I want the real numbers and the healthcare supply chain people at AHRMM completely changed my mind on the cost of a data exception. Hospitals shared the processes involved, the people involved in resolving one SKU, and let’s not forget one item can have multiple data issues (bad part number, UOM, HCPCS, UNSPSC, GTIN…). And it’s not just the incorrect data it’s the missing data as well. I quickly realized that it depends on internal processes and the people involved and that will vary for each organization.
- All the hospitals we met at AHRMM agreed with the 30% data churn rate in healthcare as the industry average, which is astonishing to me! This means an item master of 100K items experiences a change to 30K items a year. I mean come on! One of our white papers is titled “Blow Up Your Item Master” and so many people picked up the brochure and said, “I want to blow up my item master!
- Finally, I learned that the clinically integrated supply chain is really top of mind for everyone. Hospitals are focused on automating the bill-only processes and by leveraging tools in both value analysis and supply chain, people are able to use technology to connect the clinical teams. But once again, they must be able to count on the item file as a source of truth. It seems like all roads lead back to item file accuracy. Accurate data, combined with formulary-guided procurement and standardized descriptions (hello), and many organizations are indeed progressing and gaining control of their spend. This is the thing hospitals struggle with the most it seems – rogue spending because it’s been a rough two years of backorders.
I saw AHRMM members bring to the table practical tools and tactical knowledge this year. I also want to note that people in the healthcare supply chain as a whole, have a great sense of humor. AHRMM was filled with laughter in 2022. You likely need to have a great sense of humor to keep the supply chain going through the COVID-19 era! I’m so proud to be a part of this group of people. They really are healthcare heroes, and their tenacity is inspiring.
Learn more about how to automate data standardization and bill-only processes from Meperia. Reach out to email@example.com for more case study/white paper information.
About the Author
Lee Ann McWhorter is the Vice President of Business Development at Meperia. Her primary goals are to reduce data error, reduce cost and improve patient safety in the healthcare industry. Lee Ann has worked with the founders of Meperia for over 16 years and understands the breakpoints in the healthcare supply chain and the need for unbiased, quality data moving forward. For more information about Meperia please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.