25 June 2024

PASA Conference puts spotlight on future trends, growth of big data and AI

PASA Conference puts spotlight on future trends growth of big data and AI2

More than 300 procurement professionals gathered in Sydney earlier this month to hear from 25 speakers at the ninth Annual PASA (Procurement and Supply Australasia) Health and Aged Care Procurement Conference.

The two-day event focused on responsible procurement in the health and aged care sectors and delegates had the opportunity to hear from a range of organisations such as the Royal Children’s Hospital, South Australia Health, Ramsay Health Care and HealthShare NSW.

HealthShare Victoria’s (HSV’s) Deputy Director Procurement Sandra Ireland was also invited to present on HSV’s experience in ensuring health services get the right product at the right time for the right price.

Speaking about HSV’s approach to responsible procurement, Sandra explained how HSV’s activities align with policy objectives such as social procurement and local jobs first, its role in building sustainable, competitive markets and the proactive approach HSV has taken to supply chain surety in developing the Critical Supplies Register.

Sandra said the conference was a great opportunity to hear from the health sector and delve deeper into their experiences to prompt new ways of thinking and further discussion.

“It was great to be able to speak to suppliers in the breakout sessions about future opportunities. Some of the big future trends discussed were medical technology and Uber health,” she said.

“We heard about the growth of hospital in the home programs and how industry disrupters such as Uber are proving to be a reliable and cost-effective alternative in the non-emergency patient transport space.”

Sandra said the team also gained useful insights into the challenges health services face with stock management. “We heard from different hospitals that they manage up to 200,000 different product lines (SKUs) while most supermarkets typically manage only around 20,000. This illustrates how complex health procurement can be”, said Sandra.

Data and the growth of AI were hot topics this year, with several speakers sharing how their organisations have improved data integrity by centralising systems to improve data quality and reduce duplication.

Health services such as South Australia Health also discussed the importance of being able to access reliable stock-on-hand and usage analysis. For example, if a hospital ward requires a certain product, they may have no visibility of the stock available on other wards. This can lead to additional stock being ordered which turns out to be surplus to requirements.

Several speakers including Chris Sullivan, Global Chief Supply Officer at Ramsay Health Care and Iain Keddie, COO at Uniting NSW, highlighted the importance of strategic partnerships including supplier relationship management programs, understanding stakeholders and what success looks like for different organisations.

Sandra said the conference was a great opportunity to hear about health services’ challenges, concerns and opportunities.

“Everyone is at different stages of the journey, and it was great to have the opportunity to learn from each other.”

“It reinforced for us that nationally the health sector is facing similar issues in terms of data reliability, supply chain disruptions and staff shortages,” she said.

Above image: HSV Procurement team members Category Manager Anuja Nikam, Deputy Director Procurement Sandra Ireland, Senior Category Manager Anthony Bastick and Category Manager Jessica Johns at the PASA Conference in Sydney.