23 May Healthcare Procurement May 23, 2016By Tais Lildaree General 0 Author: Rubin Ng Date: May 23, 2016 Blog Procurement? Isn’t that just buying products? This was the simplistic view I had till I started my rotation at Health Purchasing Victoria in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sourcing. Health Purchasing Victoria (HPV) is a statutory authority accountable to the Minister of Health and to keep it short, the organisation assists public health care services to deliver high quality patient care by ensuring they have a reliable and agile supply chain. Core functions include: Partnering with health services to organise collective state-wide contracts for product purchases to achieve best value in the tender outcome Providing advice and education on how to get the supply chain working at its best Fostering improvements in use of systems and e-commerce Sharing useful data with health services Ensuring Victorian Government health purchasing policies and probity is maintained in the purchasing, tendering and contracting of public hospitals. During my time here I have been involved in a number of contracts ranging from Dental Consumables to Continence Management Products. I have been exposed to various aspects of the Category Management cycle under the guidance of a Senior Category Manager from first scoping a new opportunity or category to discussing strategy, to evaluation, negotiation, award and contract execution. These contracts are worth millions of dollars and there is a lot of work which happens in the background that I have been involved in as part of a team, such as creating specifications, data analysis, supplier meetings, industry briefings, probity audits, health service site visits, sample evaluations and board papers! However, the journey to finalising a contract is not as simple as picking the lowest priced product! A multitude of other factors beyond price are considered such as impact on patient outcomes and experience, product quality, safety, standardisation, maintenance, waste, new innovations, and supplier performance to name a few. HPV strives to achieve best value and one of the success factors can be attributed to Product Reference Groups (PRG) who are groups of clinicians and supply personnel from representative health services. At HPV, I have seen the importance of the PRG and how the key to success is involving clinical staff in the choices and changes that will be made to what they purchase. During the evaluation process, products which are awarded by the PRG are not always the cheapest because health services may have found through experience that these do not work or often replaced. However, the product does have to be cost effective to be competitive. The PRG also considers standardisation of products whilst considering current clinical evidence based practice. The formation of Contract Management Groups after the contract has been executed is another way that HPV captures savings with products by finding new ideas from health service staff and monitoring quality and costs. Through this link, HPV receives advice on trends, changes in clinical efficacy and products. This two-way collaboration has been vital for HPV’s work and the relationship continues to grow stronger. Improving health outcomes whilst delivering efficiency savings – now that’s what our health system needs; HPV makes it happen. My belief is that more than ever, procurement has become strategic and the availability of big data analytics will influence contract design and category management. The quest for best value for money in products or services whilst ensuring probity is never ending! About the Author Rubin is a 2nd Year Management Intern currently placed at Health Purchasing Victoria. He holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) from Monash University as well as a Master of Management from the University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School. He has previously worked for public, not-for-profit, private and consulting healthcare organisations. Related Posts What is value-based healthcare? Have you ever heard of value-based healthcare? When I was first introduced to the term during my initial days at Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) in January 2019 on my very first placement, I thought it was another one of those ‘word salads’ - I understood each of the individual words, but the whole term made no sense! The challenges in providing rural healthcare According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), 75% of the population does not get enough exercise and 69% of the population are considered overweight or obese in rural communities. Promoting change in the healthcare sector Ian Campelj discusses how to promote change in the modern healthcare sector Aviation accidents and patient safety Aviation is by no doubt a high risk industry, but it is a relatively safe one. The National Safety Council in the US estimated in 2017 that the lifetime odds of death for being a passenger on a plane is 1 in 188,364.2 This shows that it is highly unlikely for someone to die due to a plane accident. On the other hand, healthcare, the high risk industry that is often not perceived as one by the public, has a much lower safety profile. Transitioning - A move from the world of supply chain management to health policy administration The intricacies in governance and change management that precedes implementation of new policies or organisational change was quite fascinating. This has been quite helpful in bridging the gap between my experiences as a healthcare staff working at the coalface and policy administration. Change is the New Black Tegan Cotter, a first-year management intern, reflects on her journey to the HMIP and why change might not be so bad after all Comments are closed.