Influencing the launch of a product that significantly impacts patient outcomes is highly rewarding for members of the health care industry.
A prime example of this is how the Vizient Pediatric Council influenced the development of Pampers® Preemie Swaddlers Size P-3 diaper, which is roughly the size of a Post-it® note and designed to accommodate premature Extremely Low Birth Weight (ELBW) babies who often weigh no more than a large eggplant.
The contract award for an ELBW diaper has been a work in progress for Vizient’s Pediatric Council for more than a year. In October 2015, when reviewing contracts from both Pampers and Huggies®, the council members noted the lack of a diaper option for ELBW babies. The council also felt that adding the small diaper size to the breadth of line both Pampers and Huggies offered made the most sense for hospitals from logistical and clinical perspectives. The two suppliers acknowledged they offered diapers for babies weighing around four pounds or less, but none that could accommodate ELBW babies, those weighing around two pounds or less. Both suppliers agreed it was important to have this in their development pipeline.
“The Vizient Pediatric Council has an absolute passion for the health of children and is constantly looking for ways to improve their care,” said Brigitte Chorey, senior director, sourcing and program management for Vizient. “There are many medical products for adults but not as many for young children, and that’s where the input and knowledge from our pediatric council helps fill the gap.”
On Nov. 1, 2016, Vizient added these new diapers to contract for members at a comparable price to their other preemie diapers—members do not pay a premium for the new product. Huggies plans to launch its diaper for ELBW babies in early 2017 and the council will discuss the addition of that product at a later time.
The new diapers are designed to minimize disruption to help with sleep, positioning and medical care for premature infants. “They feature a contoured narrow core to help with developmentally optimal hip positioning,” said Tearah Ott, program services manager, pediatric sourcing operations for Vizient. “The diaper also allows for all-over fastening and is equally absorbent in the front and back, providing nurses with the flexibility to change and position the diaper with minimal disruption to baby.”
The product improves outcomes for the tiniest of hospital patients and their families. “The care and comfort of these tiny premature babies couldn’t be more important, and we now have a diaper that meets preemies’ needs better than anything available to us today,” said Linda Lacina, MSN, RN, NIDCAP, infant developmental specialist and education specialist at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center. “With a contoured and customizable fit, nurses can position these new diapers in a way that’s best for each baby, while not hindering medical care. Having this diaper as part of the NICU also helps the experience feel more ‘normal’ to moms and dads, which is important, too.”
Positively affecting the quality of care delivered to these tiny patients is what members of the pediatric council strive to do. This mirrors the primary goal of all of Vizient’s member councils.
“One thing to know is that by participating in a Vizient council, members can make a difference,” said Chorey. “In this case, their input and feedback made a difference in pediatric care.”
The Pampers Preemie Swaddlers Size P-3 diaper is now available to Vizient members on contract MS3701 for hospitals and clinics that need to maintain a supply for their premature baby needs. When the Huggies diaper becomes commercially available, Vizient members will be notified through the typical communications channels.
Vizient looks to members to serve in an advisory capacity for the development and enhancement of supply contracts and programs. For more information on how to get involved and join a council, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.