In early August I attended the Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM) 2016 conference, an annual meeting focused on advancing healthcare through supply chain excellence.
While reflecting on my four days away, I recalled three relevant themes in the sessions I joined and the conversations I had: a continuing focus on consumerism in healthcare, an emphasis on the full continuum of healthcare, and an escalation of pressure to contain costs.
Theme one: Consumerism in healthcare
As discussed in my July blog, consumerism in healthcare is a fascinating topic for me and something that was examined at AHRMM. In most consumer-driven industries you typically know what services you pay for. In healthcare, that is not always the case. You may not always know the quality, cost, or value of a certain healthcare procedure or test. However, this situation is changing as healthcare becomes more value driven instead of volume driven. Healthcare systems are learning from other customer intense industries to try to better serve patients through education, transparency, and customer experience.
Theme two: Continuum of healthcare
Another significant area of discussion from AHRMM was a focus on the range and variety of healthcare from acute care to home care. These discussions draw attention to how and where we take care of patients. Healthcare systems are thinking about how to provide patients with high-quality care at the appropriate facility—hospital, outpatient office, urgent care facility, assisted-living facility, home, or in the future, telemedicine.
Theme three: Escalation of pressure to contain costs
This is not a new theme, but it will always be one that is looked at closely. We cannot afford to deliver poor-quality outcomes to patients. How can we provide good patient outcomes in a fiscally responsible way? Many breakout sessions at AHRMM examined specific healthcare systems that contained and reduced costs while still providing excellent clinical and patient-focused care. This balance of cost and care is most often accomplished through data and relationship building between physicians and administration, between suppliers and providers, and between providers and insurers.
The AHRMM Cost Quality Outcomes Report for 2016 has been published. In this report, there are many case studies and real-world examples of how healthcare systems are working towards improved quality, care delivery, efficiency, and patient experience. AHRMM members take a look at the report and see what you can learn from other healthcare systems, but also share your best practices with others so that together we can advance healthcare.
David 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.