By Laura Rerucha, ContXt VP – Supply contracts are never easy, and it’s especially true with medical products. Rapid changes in the U.S. healthcare industry and multiple variances among stakeholders have made the contract administration process particularly difficult – and costly – for everyone.
About a year ago, ContXt Corporation partnered with the Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA) in its effort to improve the contract management process for medical products. HIDA is the trade association representing medical product distributors, and members offer logistics services that increase the efficiency of our nation’s hospitals, nursing homes, physician practices and other healthcare providers.
HIDA is working to align medical product pricing and standardize the contract process using best practices. The goal is to follow three guiding principles: Make all communications and transactions electronic, use standard processes and identifiers, and have all parties observe contract negotiation deadlines.
Communications and Learning Materials
With multiple companies involved in HIDA, reaching a consensus on how to improve efficiency can be tricky. So can spreading the word about that consensus. Communications about why changes need to take place and how they will be done are so very important, and ContXt Corporation was able to help.
ContXt worked on a variety of materials to help HIDA and its members learn about how adopting best practices can result in positive change for the industry. We developed three primary tools:
- Tailored Meeting-in-a-Box materials to hold guided hour-long sessions about the current process, roles and objectives of key stakeholders, barriers impeding performance, and recommendations for improvement.
- A white paper with a detailed view of the current contract administration process and recommended best practices.
- A video animation to raise awareness about the complexities of healthcare contract management that directs HIDA members to where they can find more information.
HIDA and its members have made some good progress on a really big goal of standardizing the medical products contract management process. I’m happy to say the trade group has been pleased with ContXt’s assistance.
Improving efficiency and process alignment are hard enough for any company. Coming to and communicating a consensus among multiple companies can be an overwhelming challenge. But, when that consensus happens as it has with HIDA, the experience serves as a model for any industry.
Is your company or organization facing a process change? If so, share what some of your challenges have been in the comments below.
Laura Rerucha is vice president of client services at ContXt Corporation, a management consulting firm based in suburban Toledo, Ohio. ContXt helps organizations achieve strategic objectives by translating big concepts – including strategic plans, culture shifts and process changes – into engaging learning experiences. At the end of the day, we help get employees at every level on the same page to achieve strategic objectives. For more information about ContXt, please visit contxtcorp.com.