Study: Surgical scorecards reduce supply chain costs by 6.5%, yield $836.1k in savings

JAMA Surgery published a 2017 study finding surgeons can truncate overall supply chain costs when using scorecards that show them their supply costs relative to other providers.

Researchers placed surgeons in one of two group — the intervention and the control group. In the intervention group, surgeons received standardized monthly scorecards that showed the medical surgical supply direct cost for every procedure they performed in the past month compared to that surgeon's overall baseline as well as surgeons at the institution performing the same procedure at baseline.

Here are four takeaways:

1. The intervention group lowered their median surgical supply direct costs per case by 6.54 percent.

2. The lower supply direct costs translated to $836,147 in overall savings.

3. The control group yielded opposite results, increasing their median surgical supply direct cost by 7.24 percent in the study period.

4. Based on these findings, researchers found giving cost feedback to surgeons in tandem with offering them a marginal departmental financial incentive was linked to lower surgical supply costs that did not impact patient outcomes.

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