Healthcare Matters Round-Up

What's been going on over on Healthcare Matters?? Tom Finn has been cranking out some excellent articles and analysis, that's what. Here's the latest:

Drug Shortages –Obama Asks, Industry Responds -- Last month, President Obama signed an executive order that requires the FDA to take more action to help alleviate drug shortages by more comprehensive reporting, expediting regulatory reviews, and monitoring the behavior of manufacturers and distributors to prevent stockpiling or price gouging of scarce medications. In a separate letter to drug manufacturers, President Obama reminded them of their legal responsibilities and prodded them to work more effectively to share information in advance of a shortage.

Time for A Federally Sponsored, Comprehensive Data Strategy –That's Right, We Still Don't Have One... -- Disease registries track outcomes of patients who have the same diagnosis or have had the same medical procedure. Collecting and analyzing those outcome data "makes it possible to benchmark and assess comparative performance at the clinic, regional, national or even international level," said Stefan Larsson, a Boston Consulting Group partner who co-authored a report that suggests the US healthcare system could save "billions of dollars if it followed the lead of other countries and established a system of disease registries."

Vested Outsourcing (VO) – Performance Based Contract Riddles Solved -- The acronym "VO" was recently brought to my attention. New acronyms generally grab my cynical side and run a few laps – but not this time. The University of Tennessee was commissioned by the US Air Force to develop a better way to outsource. Field studies of outsourcing relationships –from the most successful partnerships to the most notorious– were undertaken with a goal to create an step-wise empirical template that defines a new best practice for creating and managing performance-based relationships.

Cloud-enabled Supply Chain Management – Skip Ahead to Best in Class Solutions -- The debate over the viability of "the cloud" as a computing architecture is over. Fortunately, IT executives have moved past the coffee house chatter and sifted through the hype. By realizing the difference between the cloud as an architecture and the cloud as a third party service, most are now mired in sorting out how best to take advantage. Indeed, it's not a matter of "if," but "how" healthcare providers are going to implement "cloud computing" and according to a recent KLAS news release, 71% already have or are in the process.

Healthcare SCM Professionals Hear Many Voices... -- Unlike other industry segments, healthcare SCM professionals deal with a customer composite whose voice includes the needs and wants of the patient, the patient's family, the physicians, the regulators, the payers, fellow employees and all the other caregivers in the mix. And it's not just a customer with multiple personalities; it's a customer with a multiple personality disorder – one with opposing criteria for evaluating the quality and value of the services that are provided.

- Sheena Moore

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