National Evaluation and Productivity Commission to study procurement efficiency and inventory management in hospitals

In response to a new mandate from the Chilean government, the National Evaluation and Productivity Commission (NEPC) will identify and analyze the key factors affecting procurement efficiency and inventory management in hospitals, with a particular focus on the purchase of medical supplies, pharmaceutical products, and consumable goods and services.

This will be the third investigation conducted by the NEPC in the healthcare field. The first study, “Efficiency in Operating Rooms and Patient Prioritization for Elective Surgery,” identified 40 findings related to the underutilization of surgical operating rooms and proposed 26 recommendations on how to significantly increase surgeries by maximizing the utilization of operating rooms and reducing long non-AUGE surgical waiting lists.

The second investigation, “Efficiency in Primary Healthcare Management (APS),” highlighted and analyzed the most relevant gaps in local primary healthcare management while proposing measures to address them.

Monday, March 20, 2023. “Efficiency in Procurement and Inventory Management in Hospitals” is the name of the new research to be conducted by the NEPC as part of a recent mandate from the Chilean government in 2023.

The study will explore the primary factors impacting procurement efficiency and hospital inventory management. It will also provide recommendations to improve the management of hospitals in these areas.

In this investigation, the NEPC will emphasize identifying the gaps in procurement and inventory management within hospitals and the indicators that monitor these processes.

The short- and medium-term recommendations included in the research will consider their feasibility and identify the responsible stakeholders for their implementation.

Institutional support for obtaining information.

To carry out this mandate effectively, the Budget Office of the Ministry of Finance (DIPRES) will collaborate through its Subdepartment of Productivity and Fiscal Transparency, providing the necessary information for analysis under secure protocols to ensure the safe handling of data and information. Additionally, DIPRES will assist in obtaining relevant information from other government entities as needed for this research.
The final version of this study will be available during the first semester of 2024.

It is important to recall that the NEPC has already conducted two investigations in the healthcare field. The first study in 2019, titled “Efficiency in Operating Rooms and Patient Prioritization for Elective Surgery,” included 26 recommendations to improve the utilization of surgical operating rooms and reduce waiting times without the need for new hospitals. It involves more efficient use of operating rooms, which were functioning at only 53% of their institutional time (9 hours per day) at the time, as well as managing non-AUGE waiting times by prioritizing patients based on diagnosis and health risk rather than solely on waiting time.

The second study conducted in 2022, “Efficiency in Primary Healthcare Management (PHC),” identified 56 findings characterizing the situation of primary healthcare in Chile and proposed 36 recommendations to enhance its attributes and performance.

By estimating the potential impact of implementing some of the NEPC’s recommendations, we anticipate that in the medium term (3-5 years), primary healthcare could improve its capacity to serve up to 36% more people, thereby increasing coverage from 50% to 68% and promoting more comprehensive care.

The research suggested prioritizing six measures considering feasibility, time, and impact, improving access and ICT support, increasing the use of clinical and technological equipment, and implementing a care strategy. The NPEC proposed changes in the processes for calculating the per capita contribution (the main financing line for municipal primary healthcare) and indicators and goals for primary healthcare. Additionally, a national Teletriage care strategy, the development of a digital clinical repository, screening actions in areas with high floating populations (preventive exams to identify potential pathologies), and evaluating the feasibility of primary and secondary healthcare infrastructure projects through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements (Concessions Law) were recommended.