In anticipation of his keynote speech at Procurex Ireland Live 2016, BSO Health and Social Care Executive Director of Operations, Sam Waide, spoke with BiP Solutions reporter Julie Shennan to discuss the challenges of bringing healthcare into the 21st century.
Mr Waide outlined these challenges as standardisation, technological innovation, increased demand on services and slow pace of change.
He explained: “Standardisation has been a challenge to enforce, not just in the supply of products, but also in customer interaction with BSO as a healthcare provider.
“Northern Ireland has a population of 1.7 million and there are six health trusts, all of whose customers operate differently. So BSO have had to synchronise these services. It has done this by forming a regional procurement group, with representatives from all of the health trusts. This group meets regularly and shares best practice advice.”
Further to this, Mr Waide explained that BSO’s Collective Senior Executive group is focused on category management, standardising the products that they offer patients.
These are just two of the many ways BSO is using technological innovation to promote best practice.
Mr Waide said: “BSO is working to get more out of the technology it implements and to optimise the data that sits in the systems at its warehouses.
“BSO has identified research to enhance its systems and processes, joining up business intelligence and optimising management and performance information.”
Technological innovation is just part of the plan to meet the increased demand on healthcare services.
Mr Waide explained: “One of the big issues the health and social care sector faces is greater demand for community services. This is a positive thing for patients, as they get more tailored care, but it also brings strain on decreasing budgets.”
With budgetary constraints and procurement bureaucracy, Mr Waide said healthcare providers are often frustrated at the slow pace of change.
He added: “Healthcare operates in big systems and this can slow down the delivery of services to our patients. BSO is addressing pace of work on issues like social care procurement that are in high demand, by setting up work programme frameworks so that it can progress in a structured way.”
Mr Waide leads BSO’s Transformation Programme, managing procurement and logistics services across Northern Ireland’s health sector, exceeding annualised expenditure of £600 million. He explained some of the ways BSO continually improves its practices.
He said: “At BSO we continually develop our staff, as well as attracting new talent. This brings a different perspective to our work.
“We are also engaging with clinicians in a progressive manner, to mediate between them, the customer and our procurement teams to deliver the best care.”
Looking to the future Mr Waide forecast the way in which he believed healthcare supply chains would evolve.
He commented: “I think the marketplace will become even more global. In the UK and Ireland ten years ago the procurement focus was very local; however, now we have a more international supply base. This offers alternative solutions to meet demand.”
Mr Waide also identified more scope for standardisation of goods, services and documentation.
He said: “Some of the feedback BSO gets from suppliers is that the lack of standardisation in procurement forms is confusing, so there is big room from improvement there.”
Added to this standardisation drive, Mr Waide predicted the future would bring greater focus on collaborative procurement.
He concluded: “Events like Procurex Ireland Live are good, as they allow procurement professionals to share best practice. It allows public procurement officials to see what is going on in the private and international scenes, and gives them a different perspective to tackle problems.”
For this and more insight on public sector procurement opportunities visit the Procurex Live website and find the next supply chain event in your area.