HealthManagement, Volume 23 - Issue 1, 2023

Healthcare Procurement in 2023: Let’s Shape the Beginning from the End!

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Let’s professionalise procurement by giving decision-makers (doctors, board, ...) decision-making tools that bring objective, patientcentred and cost-oriented VALUE to the hospital sector. Procurement is part of healthcare management and holds the key to all topics that are lessons learned from COVID-19: supply chain management, sustainability, transparency, digitalisation, patient experience, innovation & economies.

Key Points

  • How do we in healthcare procurement manage the start of procurement from the end?
  • Value in healthcare means procurement with view on the DANNY whole ecosystem.

There is no doubt that procurement increasingly‏ includes a dimension that we have to call value. Price‏ is in the foreground; in these times of crisis, it remains‏ a must. A transparent venture neutral description of‏ products and services puts procurers in the public‏ health system in a position that in football is called‏ the one who passes the ball. And that is towards the‏ specialists in each field.‏


In 2023, public tenders are meeting points where‏ engagements are taken in all transparency. Every‏ stakeholder in the health system - be they a doctor, a‏ manager or a nurse - should not have their decisionmaking‏ authority taken away from them. These people‏ are the professionals and the procurer has the task‏ of providing these people with objective criteria. This‏ requires expertise, digital tools and a spirit of innovation,‏ courage and diplomacy on the part of the procurer.‏


But how can the third dimension, the VALUE‏ discussion, the measurement of output, the inclusion‏ of patient experience be integrated? In short: how do‏ we in healthcare procurement manage the start of‏ procurement from the end?‏


Or to put it another way: 

Can we optimise healthcare systems through‏ comprehensive governance in procurement?‏


Let’s start with a dream that has been set in almost‏ all other sectors for generations: let’s imagine that the‏ hospital board has a C-level procurement officer, a CPO.‏ After all, procurement affects between 30 and 40%‏ of an average hospital budget. So the area should be‏ represented by a professional.‏


Procurement, like medicine, patient experience,‏ has the potential to accelerate health system reforms‏ and address current challenges to deliver better‏ quality, more accessible, more efficient, personalised,‏ integrative and value-based care. However, many‏ healthcare organisations still lack a holistic approach to‏ implementing procurement governance.‏ 

Good procurement in the triangle of hard price criteria,‏ objectification in description, integration of patientexperience‏ requires digital, innovative foundations that‏ first create transparency, legality, responsiveness, crisis‏ preparation, supply chain security and continuity, and‏ last but not least, sustainable purchasing in a circular‏ economy.‏


Only then will there be justice between requirements‏ and application, effectiveness and political regulations,‏ which will keep our sector capable of acting regionally,‏ but which will be value-oriented and global in‏ procurement. Let’s work on the C-level to end the‏ fragmentation of procurement, it weakens our sector.‏


Value on an equal standing means: setting up the‏ process with the involvement of all stakeholders‏ between the health care sector and partners from‏ industry and business, in such a way that solutions‏ and investments are made possible, whereby there is‏ a return on investment for all parties involved and not,‏ as is the case today: a sector in (often) the red and an‏ industry that still draws correct margins from the publicly‏ financed health care sector.‏


As a procurer, co-define your health enterprise, identify‏ all stakeholders and users and engage them from the‏ outset with a clear focus on the immediate must-cannice-‏ to-have issues of procurement.‏


Agree on what data should be collected so that quality‏ and value in execution can be measured.‏


Agree on instruments for governance in procurement:‏ how do I specifically incorporate topics such as‏ sustainability, supply chain, innovation - where is the‏ strategic focus of my institution?‏


Determine who is in charge and gather all stakeholders‏ who have the critical resources.‏


Adopting a clear, transparent and well-communicated‏ procurement policy is essential for managing‏ procurement.‏


Implement accountability and promote the‏ improvement of the health system towards patient centered‏ and integrated care.‏


Review, update and continuously adapt the institution’s‏ procurement governance to the changing needs of the‏ health system as innovative development continues.‏


Not losing sight of the broad objectives to ensure‏ equitable and affordable access to quality health‏ services and to improve and protect the health of the‏ population.‏


Procurement with a value-based approach should‏ move health systems forward, as well as medicine,‏ and must lead to transparent measurable health‏ management in the ecosystem of the partners of 2023.

Conflict of Interest


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