If you’re in the dental industry and aren’t consolidating your formulary, you’re missing out on potential savings.
A dental formulary is a list of products and supplies that a dental practice regularly uses to treat patients. A formulary helps dental professionals streamline their practice, improve patient care, and manage costs.
There are a few steps to take in order to build a strategic, consolidated dental formulary for your practice.
Assess your practice’s needs
Determine which products and equipment your practice uses most frequently and which ones are most important for your patient’s treatment plans. This can range from gloves to intraoral scanners.
A formulary can help ensure that all patients receive the same high-quality care by providing a list of approved treatment protocols. This can help reduce the risk of errors and improve patient outcomes.
You know better than anyone else what is best for your practice.
Research available products
Look for the supplies that are effective, safe, and cost-effective. You can consult with other dental industry experts and professional organizations to gather trustworthy information.
Also look at the supplies you’ve purchased in the past. Are these still available? Did they work well for your practice? Your purchasing records should include the item/SKU number or manufacturer part number, the category it’s in, the name and description of it, unity of measure, and a breakdown of how many units per box.
When creating a formulary you shouldn’t be focused on the cheapest products, and vice versa you shouldn’t be focused on the highest quality product. Instead, look to build your formulary around the products that represent the best value – the intersection of quality and price.
Evaluate and prioritize the products
Based on your assessment and research, determine which products and equipment are most important for your practice to have on its formulary. Prioritize those that are most commonly prescribed and/or have the greatest potential impact on patient care.
Break up your formulary into two categories: clinically sensitive products vs. non-clinically sensitive products.
Studies show around 50% of products ordered are non-clinically sensitive and the other 50% are deemed clinically sensitive. Identify these products, consolidate your formulary, and leverage your purchasing power. Work with your doctor partners to identify the non-clinically sensitive products, and look for the best value for those products so you can standardize and consolidate them.
Example: If you’re purchasing six different bibs, consolidate that down to one brand or one type from the manufacturer who’s willing to give you the best price for the product.
If you’re a large DSO with multiple practices, each one may require different quantities of supplies. Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) can help leverage volumes and find lower prices for both large DSOs and singular practices. These groups will also help you consolidate your non-clinically sensitive products.
Develop a protocol for formulary management
Decide how your practice will manage the formulary, including how often it will be reviewed and updated, who will be responsible for reviewing and approving changes, and how changes will be communicated to staff.
GPO’s like SourceClub can help you not only create a formulary, but can help you manage it to control your procurement spending. By negotiating with suppliers and limiting the number on the formulary, you or your GPO can reduce the overall cost of equipment for your practice.
Implement and maintain the formulary
Once you have developed the formulary and protocol, implement it in your practice and regularly review and update it as needed.
It is important to note that a dental formulary should be developed in consultation with other dental professionals and should comply with any applicable regulations or guidelines.
You can streamline your process with an online procurement software. It houses and tracks your products and suppliers in real time, keeping your formulary organized. These softwares allow you to order with the click of a mouse. This isn’t required, but GPOs commonly highly recommend this software.
SourceClub can help you maintain your dental formulary objectives and help save your practice money along the way.