Physicians are beginning to participate in hospital supply-saving projects, but there is still room for improvement, according to a survey of 112 hospital material managers by hospital alliance VHA. Most of the respondents -- 84% -- reported that hospital efforts to partner with medical staff were somewhat to very successful, and most ranked their relationship with doctors a seven or higher on a scale of one to 10.
Meanwhile, 54% of the material managers surveyed said that doctors involved in supply-chain efforts often have to sacrifice some of their personal preferences in choosing supplies, yet 89% said their hospitals did not offer incentive programs to reward physicians for their efforts to reduce supply costs. Three-quarters of the respondents reported that their hospital had dedicated material managers for their clinical departments, especially in high-cost areas such as surgery and interventional cardiology. Cardiology, surgery and pharmacy represent 60% of a hospital's total supply cost, according to VHA.