The concept of Physician Preference Items (PPI) has been the lifeblood of clinical value analysis for many years. It has dominated the Interventional and Perioperative worlds as often the largest expense in the acquisition of new products and technologies. However, hospital procurement has witnessed a big shift; hospitals have moved away from PPI to hospital “value analysis” committees. Value analysis committees require the input of multiple stakeholders, and with current, manual tools for collaboration, procurement can take over nine months from initial request in a hospital facility to availability. Frustrations on all sides from hospital administrators, physicians, and medical suppliers cannot be solved with traditional tools of email and excel spreadsheets with process bottlenecks being a huge hurdle to overcome.
Having first-hand knowledge of hospital procurement and eyeing how it would transform, Austin Dirks laid the foundation of GreenLight Medical to manage the overall workflow needs specific to hospital procurement, aligning all parties, people, data, documents, and decision-support in one cloud-based architecture. Now in its fourth year of operation, GreenLight exists as all-in-one cloud software for hospital value analysis of new medical technology; with over 50 hospitals and more than 350 medical device companies using the software. GreenLight’s software streamlines workflow coordination, project management, decision-support, and comprehensive product knowledge to help hospitals efficiently evaluate newly introduced products.
Continuing to Evolve with the Customer Needs
Like any other growing start-up in the ever-changing ecosystem, the journey for GreenLight has seen and tackled its challenges. After GreenLight had a fully developed product, gaining its first adopter in the hospital market was an uphill battle. A beautiful, sophisticated product that solved an unmet need was no match for the question of “Who else is using it?”
Alongside an absence of early adopter mentality in the hospital setting, GreenLight faced challenges of operating as a small company in a highly regulated market with traditionally long sales cycles. Gaining that initial traction required patience and perseverance to get to a hospital partner who trusted in GreenLight. But GreenLight continued to evolve with customer needs and overcame every obstacle along the way.
Revolutionizing the Hospital Procurement Process
GreenLight’s cloud platform continues to revolutionize the hospital procurement process with some amazing advancements within the portal. Hospitals now have full access to GreenLight’s end-to-end portal to manage all stakeholders, information-exchange, communication, and decision-making needs. A few of the solutions GreenLight equips users with are summarized below:
- Project Management: Track incoming new technology requests across an entire system with one standardized data entry portal.
- Workflow Automation: Information dissemination to all corresponding team members in one-click, with real-time progress updates and process transparency for stakeholders.
- Decision Support: Aggregate all pertinent product data, documents, and decisions into one common portal for access by critical team members.
- Product Research: Up to date product insights at users’ fingertips including clinical, reimbursement, pricing, and regulatory data.
- Physician Engagement: Harness difficult to include clinical input from physicians throughout the review process.
- Connected Hospital System: Connect all hospitals and stakeholders in an IDN under one digital roof.
- Team Communication: Cloud-based team communication channels aligned to medical technology in review.
A Veteran of the Healthcare, Medical Device, and Technology Industry
GreenLight CEO, Austin Dirks founded GreenLight Medical with a vision: to create a tool that helps hospitals and physicians get the medical technology they need to advance surgical outcomes and patient care. A former biomedical engineer and medical device sales executive, Austin noted the outdated process which hospitals were using to review new medical technology with the recent surge of hospital value analysis committees. From there the concept of GreenLight Medical was born. Austin developed GreenLight Medical’s cloud software to streamline workflow, project management, and decision-support for hospital value analysis committees. Today, over 50 hospitals are using GreenLight to manage their technology procurement process.
Before founding GreenLight Medical, Austin worked in business development for Thoratec where he worked with senior leadership on improving the company’s medical device portfolio. Prior to Thoratec, Austin worked for St. Jude Medical as a medical device sales representative in the CRM and EP divisions. Austin is a Biomedical Engineering graduate of Vanderbilt University and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Staying Ahead of Moving Trends in the Industry
Austin believes the future of the hospital industry will revolve around consolidation, data mining, and digital organization needs with cloud technology being the ultimate integrator. GreenLight, as a cloud technology, has a well-positioned opportunity to stay ahead of moving trends in the industry, able to adapt and command new features in a nimble environment. Austin trusts that GreenLight Medical will be an essential tool for the procurement of all types of technology that enter the door of a hospital facility. Beyond the procurement of new technology, GreenLight seeks to help hospitals evolve their full understanding of technology’s clinical impact after the point of purchase, helping doctors make the best decisions for their patients with real-time, shared, instantaneous product performance data using GreenLight as an embedded partner for many years to come.
“Our future perspective is to sit as a direct information and communication conduit between hospital systems, manufacturers, and GPOs to get new technology into the physicians’ hands faster. The hospital procurement world will be powered by our digital interface. Medical manufacturers will be able to talk directly to physicians for their clinical feedback on products. Hospital IDNs will be able to talk directly to manufacturers about their product pipeline, breaking down barriers with digital connectivity. And ultimately, physicians will be able to provide better outcomes for patients while improving the hospitals’ financial health. As we grow in our footprint we will be able to manage all types of technology introduction from capital equipment to high tech medical devices, solving a great collaboration need, using GreenLight to advance new technology through hospital procurement,” Austin concludes.