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Public Administration News  
Australia Develops e-Health Supply Catalogue
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Friday, September 28, 2012
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Australia
Created: Oct 09, 2012

Under a recent initiative, the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) is helping develop a National Product Catalogue (NPC) that fully integrates suppliers’ medical and product information electronically.

In future, suppliers tendering for public health sector contracts will need to publish their product data in the NPC.

At present, WA Health in Western Australia and NSW Health in New South Wales are using NEHTA’s eProcurement service – while drawing on NPC data to ensure the right products are ordered and delivered.

Pilots are under-way in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

“The NPC is a single repository for product data about medicines, medical equipment and consumables,” according to NEHTA’s chief executive officer, Peter Fleming.

Being able to store and share accurate and timely data on products traded between suppliers and healthcare organisations lays the foundations for the successful delivery of e-heath services.

This latest NEHTA initiative is endorsed by all Australian state, territory and federal health departments.

A full-scale implementation of the NPC will save the public healthcare sector nearly US$200 million ($AUD200 million) each year, according to government estimates.

These savings stem from being able to provide accurate, valid and up-to-date product data in an electronic format, while improving communications and operations across the supply chain.

The NPC currently holds data about 240,000 items, covering more than 380 suppliers. This catalogue enables suppliers to provide standardised and accurate product and price data electronically to Australian health departments and hospital providers.

The number of electronic users has grown by more than 30 per cent during 2011-2012. Many more companies acknowledge the benefits of using a single, centralised and standardised platform to share product data between trading partners.

Among its features, the NPC features unique identification numbers to improve the speed and accuracy of procuring medical products. It is similar to Australia’s Healthcare Identifier System, and complements the Personally-Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR) programme.

An electronic catalogue provides a single repository for product data about medicines, medical equipment and consumables. It meets a growing demand for access to accurate and timely information about healthcare products and services.

Electronic information management reduces order errors and supply costs associated with invoice re-conciliations, credit claims, returns and refused deliveries.

NEHTA is driving e-health reforms nationally. It was established by the Australian, state and territory governments to develop better ways of electronically collecting and securely exchanging health information.

NEHTA CEO Peter Fleming is a keynote speaker at the FutureHealth Forum Australia (Tuesday 17th April 2013) Sydney, Australia. Programme details at http://www.futuregov.asia/events/futurehealth-forum-australia-2013/ 

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