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Healthcare Business Solutions
May 4th, 2017

From Dave’s Desk: Five takeaways from the Spring IDN Summit

At the beginning of April, I attended the Spring IDN Summit in Orlando, Florida. The goal of the IDN Summit is to help enhance healthcare delivery by optimizing and strengthening supply chains. It was an educational week full of great conversations.

As I listened and conversed throughout the week, I identified my five takeaways from the IDN Summit.

  1. The importance of using clinical data in value analysis
  2. The shift in provider-supplier relationships
  3. The importance of talent management
  4. The effect that enabling technology can have on healthcare
  5. The initiative to bring healthcare to patients

Using clinical data in value analysis

Value analysis teams, which are increasingly physician led, are using clinical data to make more informed buying decisions. These teams are working to balance buying decisions around patient safety, price, availability, and clinician preference. Obtaining consistent, relevant, and unbiased data is an important part of the value analysis process. It is important, going forward, to share best practices between value analysis teams and to educate suppliers, providers, and clinicians on what a successful value analysis team can do.

Provider-supplier relationships

Providers and suppliers alike are beginning to see the mutual benefit of moving from transactional partnerships to strategic partnerships. Often, providers (or health systems) work with 2,500–3,000 suppliers. It’s becoming increasingly important for providers to work with their preferred suppliers in order to develop new business and clinical opportunities. Trust, transparency, and respect are essential as providers and suppliers work to advance healthcare and enhance the patient experience.

Talent management

Increasingly, there has been a great need to hire the best talent in order to move healthcare into the next era. Like someone once said to me, the lightbulb was not created as an iteration of the candle; the lightbulb was a disruptive innovation. We need to have that same mentality in healthcare. To get there, we need to recruit people who think differently and come up with innovative ways to better take care of patients.

Enabling technology

Technology enables us to change the way we think about healthcare delivery. From remote monitoring to wearable devices, we can begin to take care of patients in new ways. Remote patient monitoring allows health systems to manage patients away from the hospital, often in the comfort of their own homes. Wearable devices can monitor patient activity and provide patient convenience. These technologies enable health systems to lower the cost of healthcare delivery and to provide convenience to patients without reducing the quality of patient care.

Bring healthcare to patients

It takes a combination of using clinical data in value analysis, advancing provider-supplier relationships, improving talent management, and enabling technology to proactively and conveniently bring healthcare to patients. The ultimate goal is to have high-quality outcomes at the lowest possible cost in order to provide immense value to patients. As an industry, it’s important for us to find ways to treat patients in appropriate and convenient locations, whether that is at home, at a doctor’s office, or at a hospital. This is the exciting and challenging future of healthcare.

When I reflect back on when I joined the industry 40 years ago during x-ray training school, I think about how most surgical procedures were open and invasive. CT scans, ultrasounds, and minimally invasive procedures were in the early stages of development and were not as mainstream. The departures from the norm are what really advances healthcare. As an industry, we’ve significantly advanced healthcare over the last 40 years, and these five takeaways can help health systems think differently and continue to positively advance healthcare over the next 40 years.

Did you attend the 2017 Spring IDN Summit? What were your takeaways? Share your thoughts with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Reed_Dave_5x7_7238David Reed is currently Vice President of Operations, Vice President of Healthcare Business Solutions for Cook Medical Incorporated. With over 30 years of life science industry expertise Dave holds an MBA from California Miramar University and serves as a member of the Indiana University Kelly School of Business Supply Chain and Global Management Academy Advisory Board.