EXPLORE - Winter 2015 - (Page 15)
Purchasing Hospital Textiles with
Value Analysis in Mind
Q&A with Terri Nelson, RN, MA
We asked Terri Nelson, RN, MA, value analysis manager with
Mayo Clinic, a few questions about selecting the best health
care textile products.
coatings, and find out whether the manufacturer has laundering
requirements. Once we have this information, we would talk with
the laundry processor to address its ability to launder the items.
Q. What does a value analysis manager do?
Nelson: The role of the Clinical Value Analysis Team is to work
with the end users, which includes both the clinical staff and the
linen team, in selecting the best valued product for their practice.
Q. Why is that important?
Nelson: It is part of the quality, service, and cost. Our laundry
provides a service. If the item requires processing outside of the
norm, this will impact its ability to provide service and potentially
increase the cost.
Q. What would be your top considerations when purchasing linens/textiles for a hospital setting?
Nelson: Where is the product going to be used? That is the first
question we ask. What are staff expectations? For example, if we
are looking for a patient gown, we would ask clinical staff how
will they use the gown and what product attributes are needed.
They may say they need a patient gown that will provide coverage
and allow the clinical staff to access the chest. When working with
linen staff we need to understand where the product is stored.
Is shelving space limited? We also ask about infection control
requirements, if any.
Q. Most people would assume that the most expensive
product will satisfy the best. In your experience, has this
generally been true?
Nelson: For all products we use a value equation. Price is important, but value is what we want to achieve.
Value = Quality (Outcomes + Safety + Service)
Q. Should you first consult your laundry processor about
how these items will be cared for?
Nelson: We start with the clinical staff first, but right behind
that is the laundry. We obtain information from the manufacturer
regarding the products' characteristics, thread count, or special
Q. Is storage a concern? Why or why not?
Nelson: Yes, space is always limited. We consider where the product will be stored: warehouse or a store room near the users? How
much stock do we keep to ensure we have clean product?
Q. Can you discuss how you make decisions based on
the demands of cost/quality/outcomes?
Nelson: Our process includes developing an Award Matrix, making
the decision more objective. The Award Matrix is two parts-one
part includes the "non-financial" (quality, attributes, storage, etc.)
and the second part is the financial (cost of product, cost of laundry,
etc.). These are pulled into the Award Matrix.
Terri Nelson leads the Clinical Quality Value Analysis Team,
which facilitates the value analysis process, maintains the product
formulary, and manages the product recall/issue system across all
Mayo Clinic campus. Terri has been at Mayo Clinic for more than 30
years in the roles of staff nurse, nurse manager, practice analysis,
and most recently as the value analysis manager.
THIS Q&A ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE FALL 2015 ISSUE OF FRESH
MAGAzINE, A PUBLICATION OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR LINEN
MANAGEMENT. TO LEARN MORE AND ACCESS THE FRESH ARCHIVES,
www.ahe.org I EXPLORE I Winter 2015 15
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of EXPLORE - Winter 2015
Textiles that Heal
Partners in Textile Hygiene
Quick Tips for Critical Partnerships
Selecting the Best Products
Plant, Personnel, and Process
2015 AHE Recognition Awards
Enhancing Professional Competence
EXPLORE - Winter 2015