Team-Tested Practices

Workforce of the Future

Simple Tool Helps Teams Track Savings

alt="Pharmacies can track waste and save."

Using this spreadsheet enabled a pharmacy team to see it saved three times more than expected

As more and more unit-based teams answer the call to improve affordability for health plan members, they are finding new tools that can help manage their cost-improvement projects.

One such tool, a handy spreadsheet, can help teams track and report their cost savings.

Teams track own savings

Developed by UBT consultants and financial analysts in Colorado and later adopted by UBTs in the Northwest, the tool can help teams determine the economic benefits of a performance improvement project with little or no assistance from a consultant or sponsor.

“It’s a great add-on to teams’ reporting in UBT Tracker,” says Luanne Petricich, chief pharmacist, Pharmacy Professional Affairs, in Colorado and a sponsor of 12 UBTs in the region. “It can be a very impactful way for co-leads to show their teams and others what their savings were and how they achieved them.”

In addition, teams can now record their financial results directly into UBT Tracker thanks to a new data field, Annual ROI, that allows teams to share how much money a project saved or generated. The field can be found under the Project Details tab (see graphic below).

Tool use spreads

Petricich sends the spreadsheet to any of her teams working on a cost-reduction or efficiency project to help them document their results.

One team that used the tool was the pharmacy UBT at Baseline Medical Offices in Boulder. The team had completed an inventory-reduction project that far surpassed its goal—which was to reduce its drug inventory by 10 percent, or $50,000, in three months. By adjusting order quantities to better match usage and returning overstocked medication to the mail order pharmacy for use before the expiration date, the team saved $143,000—nearly three times its original goal.

“It’s important to track your results, and this tool can help teams do that in a simple way,” says Don Larson, Baseline’s pharmacy supervisor. “It’s something we would use the next time we do a similar project.”

Savings - ColorTools to Help Keep Care Affordable

A healthy bottom line is important to any business. And getting high marks from accounting means looking for ways to save money.

Here are a few ideas to help your department be more frugal.

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