Workflow Software to Support Virtual Meetings and New Product Decision-Making

Does your workflow software have these essential components?

The waiting is the hardest part. This can certainly be true for providers who are eager to start using a new medical device that will improve patient care. Unfortunately, providers may have to wait several months for their request to be approved.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we take care of business. Many healthcare supply chain staff have been forced to work remotely, and connectivity has been challenging. For many healthcare organizations, in-person meetings are a distant memory. When they’re not replaced by videoconferences, “non-essential” meetings are often put on hold. Unfortunately, so are decisions about new product requests—the kind often made during those monthly in-person committee meetings that have been postponed. With new product requests still coming in weekly, large healthcare organizations may have 200 or more requests waiting in the queue.

Your supply chain department still needs to process those new product requests that have been piling up. You need a different way for your group of stakeholders to efficiently review those requests and make decisions—while working remotely. With 24/7 technology available to connect process participants, a standardized workflow platform provides a more efficient and effective way to involve the right decision makers virtually, provide them the right information and evidence, and thus drive to the right conclusion more rapidly.

The best workflow software has features and functionality that facilitate virtual communication, meetings, and decision-making.

RELATED BLOG: Simplify the New Product Decision-Making Process

Does your workflow software include these essential components? 

A central documentation repository. Storing product information and reports in one central database provides easy access to the decision-support data you need to evaluate capitalequipment, med-surg supplies, and outsourced services. Stakeholders can review product information when it’s convenient, instead of waiting for someone to send them key reports or present them during committee meetings. Documents, discussions, and communications with your team and suppliers can be permanently archived, allowing you to review them a year later when it’s time to reevaluate a product or when you’re trying to remember why you made a particular decision.

Automated workflow that connects all of your locations and organizes the work into one standardized workflow process, eliminating email communications. Your software should automatically generate tasks, requesting specific documentation/reports from particular people, in the right order. One expert may need to review certain information (coming from another source) before providing related data. Clinicians and other stakeholders should be able to easily check the status of a particular product request. 

Custom product request portal. Your clinicians should be able to submit requests electronically without logins, software navigation, or training.

Supplier portal. Can your vendors submit the product information you request (e.g., 510Ks, pricing, white papers) via an online portal? They should be able to do so.

Product review tools. Simplify the virtual review process with:

  • Virtual voting capability and a voting summary graph.
  • eForms—convert paper forms into easy-to-use custom electronic forms.
  • Custom surveys that can be emailed to your team.
  • Custom tasks.

Agenda management tools. Create virtual meeting agendas and document your meeting minutes, roll call, voting, and decisions.

Team creation/management capabilities. Can you easily create custom user groups ( e.g., subject matter experts, clinical champions, service line representatives) to include in your product review process? These groups make it easy to distribute the right information to the right people.

Custom Reports. You should be able to easily generate printable reports using custom search parameters.

Cloud-based software. Stakeholders should be able to engage in virtual discussions and vote via their laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

Integration with clinical evidence. These integrations allow you to easily incorporate safety information and clinical evidence in your product review process.

If your workflow software doesn’t check most of these boxes, you may need a better solution. TractManager’s workflow software, MedApproved, includes these features and functionality that automate and simplify the new product request process in a virtual environment. MedApproved combines the right information and the right people to help you make faster, better purchasing decisions. To learn more about our MedApproved workflow solution, watch this quick 3-minute video.


Dee Donatelli

Vice President, Professional Services

Dee Donatelli joined TractManager in 2018 as the director of Value Analysis Consulting.


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