Procurement In Spotlight.
WARD Mangers, Nurses, Doctors and Accounts staff from the Victoria Hospital were among the participants at a recent OECS workshop series entitled “Procurement and supply chain management of medicines and medical products.”
The workshop, a collaborative effort between the OECS and the Victoria Hospital, was facilitated by Mr. Francis Barnett, Head of the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service.
Management of the Victoria Hospital has embarked on the number of training activities targeting all levels of staff in preparation for the imminent transition to the Owen King EU Hospital.
The workshop focused on the key components of supply chain management with reference to selecting the best available medicines based on predetermined criteria.
Barnet told the particpants that procurement was another important aspect of supply chain management. He said: It’s important that we choose the right procurement method. There are four main methods about restricted tendering, open tendering, competitive bidding. We are looking at the pros and cons so that our participants will be empowered with the knowledge and the skill set to choose the most appropriate to purchase particular commodities of medical products so that you maximize your returns, you get best value for money.”
Barnet added that up to forty percent of government expenditure goes to procurement, thus the need to strengthen and enhance procurement procedures to increase transparency and reduce wastage.
The workshop also focused on medical stores management.
He added: “Medical products are not ordinary articles of merchandise. They need to be stored in the appropriate temperature environment. They need to be secured, good inventory control practices. It is to ensure that we have a reliable supply of medical products for our patients….Healthcare workers are sometimes preoccupied with the clinical use of the item but the other components are equally effective to ensure that we have a reliable supply to our citizens. “
Executive Director of the Victoria Hospital, Jeanette Hughes stated that the workshop was timely and will better equip staff of the hospital with the necessary skill set to manage the critical services at the facility.
She said: “You see Victoria Hospital is a resource constrained environment and the management of the hospital is duty bound to find more efficient ways to utilize our supplies. The new hospital gives us a very good opportunity to review what we’re doing and to develop better ways for what we undertake. Inventory management is a very critical component of the hospital. In many health institutions the cost of supply is very high and for us going into the new hospital we are taking a proactive measure by ensuring that the persons who would be utilizing our services, the nurses, the doctors, the other staff members they are not just aware of the cost and what it takes to provide those supplies but to commit themselves to better management and more efficient utilization of the supplies.”
The Executive Director added that inventory management directly impacts the quality of services delivery by the hospital. One participant, Dylan Best, the Inventory Officer at the Victoria Hospital was quite pleased for the opportunity to upgrade his skills.
He said: “The intention of the workshop was to enlighten us as to what procurement should be. How a hospital should manage procurement, how supplies should be managed, how cost should be managed and this is definitely an important part to any institution and hospital. Especially moving to the new OKEUH which will be one of the most professional hospitals on the island to provide the most professional service to our patients and also the best consultancy we can offer in terms of managing healthcare.”