Managing hospital public procurement in the face of COVID-19

covid-19 ; public procurement
May 26th, 2020
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After payroll, hospital public procurement is the second highest outlay for healthcare institutions in France. These purchases represent a major challenge in ensuring the quality of patient care. While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all sectors, the healthcare sector has been hit particularly hard. In order to cope, software company Ordiges suggests betting on digitalisation.

Getting digitalisation up and running

With a view to optimising costs and performance, many healthcare organisations are making digitalisation their top priority. Digitalising the way in which healthcare is delivered can add real value, for example easier patient contact, shared and centralised patient data and digital prescriptions.

Belgium is spearheading the digitalisation of the hospital sector, particularly the path a patient's care takes, in Europe. For example, the Belgians use a platform called "MaSanté" to centralise all of an individual's healthcare data.

The COVID-19 test

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in a growing number of patients, requires optimum management of hospital public procurement and the use of effective processes. Sourcing the equipment and materials needed for healthcare management (medicines, clothing, personal protective equipment etc.) is challenging. Demand, which is often urgent, exceeds supply across the European market.

In this critical situation, the benefit of using an integrated purchasing solution comes into sharp focus. Buyers get increased control over their supplies and an overall view of the entire purchasing chain. Some solutions also help to digitalise public procurement. This is the case with "OfLex", a tool used to simplify processes for purchasing agreements, which are also known as "below-threshold procurement" and have been multiplying during the crisis.

The hospital sector is gradually moving towards digitalisation. For institutions that have already begun the digital transformation of their procurement departments, this represents a significant performance lever in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

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