Prescription for Success: Achieving the Optimal Balance between Procurement Savings and Premium Patient Care (A Procurement Insights Knowledge Leadership Publication)

Posted on May 13, 2009


A Health System in Distress

“The report comes a day after President Obama embraced a pledge from health-care providers to slow the increase in their costs over the coming decade.  The new projections will add to the urgency of controlling those costs.”

“Insolvency Is Seen Closer for Social Security and Medicare” New York Times (May 12, 2009).

Even beyond the United States and Canada, health care systems around the globe are facing similar challenges.

In a January 4, 2009 Telegraph Article, the Head of Health and Social Care Policy Exchange in the UK lamented the fact that “Procurement practices in some parts of the National Health Service (NHS) haven’t moved on substantially in the last 60 years.”  This was followed by a prescription that the UK system must “adopt” the best practices that would generate savings of “up to £2.1 billion (or $3.07 billion US) each year.”

The key question is what are “best practices” within the health care sector?

Certainly the two failed Oracle and JD Edwards initiatives that cost the Veterans Health Administration (and ultimately the taxpayers) a combined $650 million US over seven years does not reflect a best practices outcome.  Especially when a series of hearings on the projects disclosed the resulting negative impact on patient care at one of the VHA’s largest facilities (Bay Pines Medical Center in Florida).

Nor does a study of the UK system, which revealed that “dozens of health service projects and innovations are abandoned before they have any impact on patient care,” provide a sound best practices road map.  The fact that of the $4 billion US the NHS has spent on initiatives, only $224 million US actually led to innovations that benefited patients gives testimony to this assessment.

In my “Prescription for Success” white paper I closely examine these as well as other case references, in which I “provide the operational framework for a successful implementation of an automated health care procurement system.”

Referencing the proven guidelines established by disruptive innovators with a record of delivering results, this paper will hopefully become an indispensable resource for health care organizations looking to “control their costs.”

PI Window on The World Special (For Want of a Nail: The Pandemic Effect)

Be sure to mark Tuesday, May 26th on your calendars so that you will remember to tune in to the first of four PI Window on The World 90-minute Specials.  In this initial segment titled “For Want of a Nail: The Pandemic Effect,” I will be joined by Nick Kelley, a researcher from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, and the lead author of the November 2008 white paper “Pandemic Influenza, Electricity, and the Coal Supply Chain (Addressing Crucial Preparedness Gaps in the United States), to discuss the true nature of the latest swine flu crisis in terms of its potential impact on supply chains.  It is a show you will not want to miss!