New software will provide hospitals with real-time analytics to drive savings and reduce waste
7 Minute Read – Syft, the leading provider of healthcare inventory control and end-to-end hospital supply chain cost management services, today released Syft Synergy 4.3. For the first time, Syft is offering a few of its most popular dashboards and analytics as a standalone package leveraging data provided by the hospital. An easy-to-install, web-based offering, the intelligent suite of analytics provides real-time business intelligence data that drives inventory and process optimization in procedural and surgical settings.
Hospitals may also upgrade from an analytics-only solution to include all Syft Synergy dashboards and reports plus Syft’s Master Data Management (MDM) services and Point-of-Use technologies. The additional services and solutions help ensure the data driving the dashboards and analytics is clean, complete, and reliable.
In this Q&A, Syft CEO Todd Plesko shares more about 4.3, what it means for healthcare organizations, and why real-time perioperative and surgical analytics is so important.
A key aspect of 4.3 is that it provides deep analytics and reporting in the perioperative area. Why is this so important for hospitals and health systems?
Plesko: The operating room is a significant contributor to a hospital’s total supply cost, particularly due to physician preference items (PPIs). In fact, surgical supply usage typically constitutes 40% to 60% of a hospital’s total supply cost (excluding medications). That’s why hospitals must be able to automatically, systematically, and continually identify PPI savings opportunities. Version 4.3 can help them do that.
Version 4.3 also ensures that, once hospitals identify PPI savings opportunities, they can act on them. For example, hospitals can use 4.3 to create cost-variance reports that show how different PPIs affect patient outcomes and length-of-stay metrics. Having access to these reports and providing physicians with visibility into the findings is the most effective way to gain physician buy-in for lower cost items. Essentially, if physicians recognize that a lower-cost item does not jeopardize the quality of care provided, they are much more willing to use that item.
Hospitals can also use 4.3 to identify surgical procedures that are the highest revenue drivers. This is beneficial information in times of normalcy, but it’s even more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. As hospitals attempt to recover from financial losses, this data can help them make strategic decisions regarding which elective procedures have long-term sustainability.
You mentioned COVID-19. Can you elaborate on how 4.3 can help hospitals and health systems recover?
Plesko: COVID-19 has placed unprecedented strain on every aspect of the healthcare system, and the financial fallout will continue for many months. The American Hospital Association (AHA) projects that hospital financial losses will deepen by an additional $120.5 billion from July 2020 through December 2020, bringing total losses to at least $323.1 billion for the year. According to the AHA, “Experts have warned that the recovery pace for hospitals and health systems will be slow and that normal hospital volume will not come back quickly even as states lift moratoriums on non-emergent procedures.”
As hospitals confront these challenges, they must find ways to make the most of every procedure they perform, and using 4.3 analytics and reports to optimize the supply chain—particularly in the OR, which is such a big contributor to total supply costs—can be a gamechanger.
Numerous studies point to the revenue-enhancing benefits of supply chain optimization, including a Guidehouse report which found that optimizing the supply chain can reduce annual expenses by 22.6% annually, or $12.1 million per hospital.
What are some of the key elements of 4.3 that you think will be most beneficial to hospitals?
Plesko: There are several features and functions that I would call out, but if I had to select a few I’d point to the following:
- Variance dashboards and reports by specialty, procedure, and physician, and outcomes data
- Detailed reports on preference card optimization opportunities, supply usage, and waste
- Reports on the highest-cost procedures and surgeon procedural cost benchmarking tools
- Procedure and supply demand forecasts that can help hospitals prevent supply stockouts (particularly critical during a supply chain disruption such as COVID-19)
Hospitals should also consider upgrading to a bundled solution that includes all Syft Synergy dashboards and reports plus Syft’s Master Data Management (MDM) services and Point-of-Use (POU) technologies. The additional services and solutions help ensure the data driving the dashboards and analytics is clean, complete, and reliable.
It’s also noteworthy that 4.3 includes new features and functions that make system administrators’ jobs easier such as streamlining testing and more flexibility with configuration.
Lastly, there are numerous enhancements in 4.3 that came at the direct request of existing customers through our Voice of Community program. The program allows users and systems administrators to participate in users’ groups and product testing so they can tell us firsthand what they want and need from our platform.
What are some of the other advantages hospitals will gain from a bundled solution?
Plesko: Hospitals’ efforts to identify cost-savings opportunities and top revenue-driving procedures will be seriously hindered if they aren’t using accurate and robust POU scanning and charge capture capabilities that seamlessly integrate into their supply chain analytics platform. Without POU, staff members won’t be able to quickly and efficiently capture supply usage, and the data acquired will not be accurate. If hospitals can’t trust in the accuracy of their data, they can’t trust that the data is telling the full story related to supply usage, cost, or patient outcomes. A bundled solution is the best way to get the most reliable data.
As hospitals strive to harness supply chain analytics and ensure they are working with high fidelity data, they also need a reliable item master. This is why our MDM services are so critical. Since COVID-19 began, many hospitals have acquired supplies (such as PPE) from nontraditional suppliers and are buying off-contract. That data may or may not have found its way into the item master and could be incomplete.
Even during non-COVID times, hospitals need help cleansing their data, as was the case with one hospital we recently assisted. During that discovery process, we found that of the 190,000 items in their item master, only 30,000 items were actually used. Much of the data was duplicative and/or obsolete.
Hospitals must update their item master and integrate it into their supply chain management technology. That way, when staff members use POU tools, any item that is not on-contract with the hospital is automatically flagged. Staff members can then quickly substitute a contracted item to save money.