When in doubt, don't!
James Russell MBA, RN-BC

$3.95
Nursing Management
May 2014 
Volume 45  Number 5
Pages 22 - 25
 
  PDF Version Available!

ABSTRACT
Healthcare value analysis is a growing field attractive to RNs with operational knowledge. It combines the clinical background of an RN with the business acumen usually attained by experience in a leadership role. These value analysis facilitators (VAFs) are often involved in a variety of projects that run the gamut of healthcare itself, seeking to improve patient outcomes and positively influence the bottom line. A seasoned RN with experience managing people, balancing a budget, and leading projects may find value analysis to be a perfect fit.Value analysis is a systematic analysis that identifies and selects the best-value alternatives for designs, materials, processes, and systems. It proceeds by repeatedly asking the question: Can the cost of this item or step be reduced or eliminated without diminishing effectiveness, required quality, or customer satisfaction? Healthcare value analysis applies these same principles to the challenges presented in hospitals and where inefficiencies and variation can produce waste and disorganization, potentially resulting in higher costs and poorer outcomes.Typically, value analysis projects fall into one of two categories: cost or quality. These are very broad descriptions and projects will often contain elements of both, but usually not in equal measure. One element is most often the rationale for the project's genesis. General descriptions of the two rationales are as follows.Cost: In value analysis, we further differentiate these elements in terms of achieving a financial return on investment (ROI). In projects involving costs, the projected ROI involves cost savings or avoidance. An example might be working with a supplier of peripheral I.V. catheters to reduce the cost to a facility by committing to a multiyear contract. In other words, if the hospital is buying I.V. catheters for $2.00 each and the VAF works out a new price of $1.75 under a 3-year contract with the manufacturer, the facility will save $0.25 for every I.V.

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