Recently, Curvo Labs hosted a webinar, The Power of Orthopedic Data Enrichments in Driving Value and Perspective, featuring Kelley Young (formerly of Trinity Health) as well as Orthopedic Network News’ Stan Mendenhall and Curvo’s own Jake Titzer. The session was packed with information and is a must-watch for anyone in supply chain, value analysis, or similar roles.

One of the highlights of the webinar was Kelley Young’s insights on the areas where continuous data enrichments in Supply Chain can impact cost per case. Kelley discussed why clinical data enrichments matter so much overall. Here’s her answer:

Every use of product tells us a story about how care was delivered…it’s not just about the price. You’ll save much more money and have more value in your institution if you know the products you’re using, the quality of those products, and why they are being used.

So clinical data enrichments ultimately tell a story about the quality of care. And in that story, there are numerous opportunities for cost savings and more. Here are four key ways that data enrichments influence supply chain analytics.

1. Identifying Purpose and Getting on Equal Data Footing with Vendors

Vendors have their own data, and they typically have access to more data than an individual hospital will. Because of this, they tend to feel (and act) like they have the upper hand in negotiations because they know more than you. And without clinical data enrichments, they do know more than you about your suppliers.

What vendors know – but won’t admit to you – is that they often buy their information, and it can be a year or two old already. And while they have plenty of anecdotes to share from their sales representatives, their information isn’t complete, either.

Having better data gives you immense leverage with vendors. You’ll be able to refute vendor claims because you can pull up the data yourself. In some cases, you’ll have data that’s more current than what the vendors are accessing, too. Imagine the negotiating power of factually correcting your vendor – and for the vendor to know that you’re right.

2. Identifying Internal Stakeholders

Hospitals who currently have access to clinical data enrichments tend to talk about the ways that sourcing and finance use this information. And that’s certainly a meaningful place to start. But sourcing and finance are not the only internal stakeholders that directly benefit from clinical data enrichments. Value analysis, supply chain, and – crucially – physicians and clinicians themselves all can benefit immensely from access to this data.

What the industry needs to move toward is value analysis, physicians and clinicians using this data regularly. This is a challenging step, certainly. Getting to this level of full clinical integration is a complex effort that requires buy-in from multiple parties, but it’s where the most significant wins are realized.

3. Engaging with Surgeons and Physicians about Utilization and Waste

With better clinical data, you’re better equipped to have conversations with surgeons and other physicians about utilization – and even waste. Kelley once identified a surgeon with five instances of utilization anomalies in a given year. Digging deeper, these all appeared to be instances of waste. Yet, the surgeon prided himself in his efficiency, insisting he never wasted product.

With the power of Curvo’s clinical data enrichments, Kelley could pull up data on those five cases in just a few clicks. And because the data was rich and complete, the surgeon could easily identify which five cases Kelley was referencing. He remembered each case due to its unusual circumstances.

There’s real power in being able to speak the surgeons’ and physicians’ language in these conversations. And there’s even more power in having clear, rich data to show them. In the above case, supply chain was able to understand the nature of the waste in each of the five cases, and the surgeon and supply chain moved forward together.

With poorer data, all supply chain could’ve accomplished was to report generally that there had been some waste. There would likely be no real understanding and no real change.

That’s the power of clinical data enrichments in engaging with surgeons and physicians.

4. Analyzing Price, Cost, and Waste

There’s plenty of debate about whether to focus on price or cost in value analysis. The reality is that both are meaningful metrics. But in the end, we in supply chain substantially measure our savings on price, because currently it’s not very feasible to measure on cost.

At a basic level, you want to achieve price leveling: paying the same price for the same part everywhere that you can. Next is price parity: paying within the same price across all vendors for a given procedure or part.

Then last, and where we all want to end up, is price competitiveness: where your vendors are willing to compete to win your business, giving you a better price than their competitor could.

As far as waste, in one situation, Kelley identified a surprising amount of waste with a particular surgical screw in a specific procedure category. It turned out that those screws were breaking at a disproportionate rate, and she could trace that back to the manufacturer. Doing so helped the manufacturer know there was a potential problem with the product. And it helped the hospital’s bottom line as it was reimbursed for the faulty product.

All of these analysis wins rely on clinical data enrichments that make it easy to identify implants, their attributes, and their utilization. Some of the analysis we’ve discussed is simply impossible without rich data. Other analysis is made drastically better through the insights that clinical data enrichments bring.

Ready to Learn More? Watch the Webinar

For more on the ways that orthopedic data enrichments can empower your healthcare organization, watch the entire webinar, The Power of Orthopedic Data Enrichments in Driving Value and Perspective, featuring Kelley Young along with Curvo’s own Jake Titzer and Stan Mendenhall of Orthopedic Network News.