Soon you're talking real money
What do office supplies, Coke products and saline flushes all have in common? They are three areas in which BIDMC's Clinical Quality Value Analysis office made changes that saved the hospital big bucks over the past year.
Chip McIntosh RN, NP, PhD, Director of Clinical Quality Value Analysis, came to the helm of the newly created office seven months ago. With the assistance of several committees, he identifies, tracks, approves and executes product standardizations and cost reduction opportunities throughout the medical center. The fiscal year 2012 cost savings goal is $9 million. Thus far, McIntosh and his team have saved BIDMC $7.2 million through contract negotiations and switches to different manufacturers.
"We've identified 250 cost initiatives this year," McIntosh says. "Any new product request comes through my office and is sent out to one of the committees for review."
For example, changing the hospital's office supply contract to yielded at savings of $1.2 million. Switching suppliers of saline flushes led to a cost savings of $116,000. Purchasing Coke products for the cafeterias and vending machines directly instead of going through a vendor saves the medical center $50,000 annually.
"We look for a cost savings, but if the cheaper product is not of the best quality or has the potential for staff injury, we won't make the switch," he says. "We recently converted to a product that caused significant frustration to our employees. We listened and will be converting back the previous product. CQVA is an evolving process we have to balance employee concerns and cost containment. Ultimately the decision is based on what is best for our patients."