How Did NMMC Reduce Spending on Advanced Wound Care Products from $620,000 to $320,000?

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Part 2 in a series examining the reduction of facility costs and the continuation of quality care

For Part 1, Click Here

By Sue Hull MSN, RN, CWOCN

After North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC) identified advanced wound care as a costly service, observed that multiple wound care products were being used to perform the same clinical functions, and realized that evidence-based practice would be difficult to implement without standardization, they developed a strategy for change.

First, they created a value analysis committee to discover why there was so much variability in products and processes. Once they had an idea of the problems, they could develop a solution. The committee was interdepartmental and it included “clinical champions” who were advanced wound care experts.

The committee then selected four vendor candidates. The vendors provided pricing. They based their pricing on the assumption they would have 80% of NMMC’s advanced wound care business.

Then, the products were evaluated using a controlled trial. The factors evaluated were:
• Antimicrobial performance
• Comfort
• Ease of use
• Minimization of pain upon removal of dressings
• Ability of the dressing to perform as indicated (e.g. If the product claimed to reduce pain, did it do so?)
• Adequacy of dressing wear times
• Evidence of acceptable progression of wound healing

After the trials (sounds like the Olympics, doesn’t it?), one vendor was chosen as NMMC’s primary provider, and two others were designated secondary providers, because they had products the primary vendor did not offer.

Once those decisions were made, the education could begin. The primary vendor and the clinical champions worked together to deliver inservice education to every service area of the facility over several weeks. This was necessary to assure that “all staff would consistently follow appropriate processes and select appropriate products.”

In short, this is what they did:
• Identified the problems
• Created a committee
• Selected vendor candidates who provided pricing
• Trialed products
• Chose primary and secondary vendors
• Provided education leading to consistency of care

Next time, I will talk about the results NMMC observed from standardizing wound care.

Sources
Sue’s Wound Formulary

McNees, P, Kueven J. (2011) The bottom line on wound care standardization. Healthcare Financial Management. (65.3) 70-74, 76.

About The Author
Sue Hull MSN, RN, CWOCN has been a home health nurse since 1992 and a CWOCN since 2003. She currently works for Peace Health Home Medical Group in Alaska. Sue is an educator and author. In addition to nursing in home health and hospital settings, she is also the editor of two wound care education websites.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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