India to Implement Country-wide e-Procurement
Tags: healthcare e-procurement, healthcare SCM sophistication lags, healthcare supply chain, India to implement e-procurement
Coincidentally, I did a post this morning that pointed out how much further we still have to go, as an industry, in improving/automating the healthcare supply chain. Donâ€™t get me wrong; there are stellar examples of well-practiced SCM in healthcare. But the standard deviation between those who â€śget itâ€ť and those who donâ€™t is far too great in healthcare, despite the ubiquity of well-qualified GPOs, and ironically, most with one foot already in the door at virtually all provider locations.
Come to think of it, maybe thatâ€™s not an accurate statement? Case in point, I recently took a call from a venture capital firm that wanted me to sit down with the CEO of a 20 hospital for-profit system to discuss â€śwhether the benefits of investing in supply chain management talent and tooling was worth the effortâ€¦â€ť
Can you spell p-e-r-f-o-r-m-a-n-c-e-d-b-a-s-e-d-e-n-g-a-g-e-m-e-n-t? I hate to sound like too much of an opportunist, but how can this kind of thinking persist in developed countries, like the US and the UK?
Indiaâ€™s Central Medical Services Society (CMSS) just announced that it is launching a country-wide e-Procurement system. The CMSS will adopt a Materials Management Information System (MMIS) to improve the efficiency of its supply chain. Historically, Indiaâ€™s Health Ministry has been responsible for the procurement of drugs, vaccines, contraceptives and medical devices through agents assigned to specific disease programs. As a newly established agency, the CMSS is being empowered by the Government of India to act as a more centralized, independent and autonomous procurement agency for its healthcare industry â€“with transparency being front and center as a prime objective.
What drove the decision? An assessment of the current system revealed the absence of an IT-enabled supply chain management capability, characterized by the manual collection of data, a lack of a accountable MMIS for inventory management, and far too many delays in calculating demand and in the settlement of tenders. Shipment delays and higher costs were (finally) deemed intolerable.
If I had a dime for each time I have heard that the US (and the UK) are simply too large â€“that we cannot apply the wisdom and actions of thought leaders and expect them to work at the required scale â€”Iâ€™d be able to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. But for obvious reasons, that argument just doesnâ€™t hold water when we’re talking about India.
If the US government can successfully motivate physician practices to adopt EHRs, then it ought to consider (I said, â€śconsiderâ€ť) the opportunities (i.e. savings and quality improvements) it could capture should it serve in some fashion as a similar catalyst to SCM practice development. Some might argue that subsidizing the adoption of EHRs was, in fact, the start, and maybe they’re right.