Pioneering progress in spend analytics: the future of healthcare spend analysis

25 July 2023 by Mat Oram

In today’s complex healthcare landscape, hospitals face numerous financial challenges. Optimising costs, managing procurement and ensuring efficient resource allocation are critical for delivering quality patient care. One effective strategy gaining momentum is the implementation of spend analytics.

Spend analytics is all about collecting, analysing and interpreting data related to an organisation’s spending patterns and expenditure. As highlighted by the Goldacre review, the NHS already has some of the most powerful health data in the world. Much of this data is critical to making informed commercial decisions – analysing where it has been spent historically and what could be reviewed or improved in the future.

At AdviseInc, this means collecting, transforming and analysing financial and procurement data to identify opportunities to save money, reduce variation and increase efficiency. By leveraging spend analytics, hospitals can achieve substantial cost savings to get the best value healthcare for taxpayers and improve patient care.

At AdviseInc, we’re now at the forefront of providing innovative spend analytics solutions to our healthcare clients as we constantly seek to push the boundaries. For example, our work with the East of England NHS Collaborative Procurement Hub helps 21 NHS trusts across six Integrated Care Systems view 100% of their non-pay spend in a single application. And our work with NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership helps deliver over £1 million in savings a year using our price benchmarking solution.

As we look ahead to some of the really exciting developments we’re working on over the next few months we wanted to give you a sneak peak of what’s to come…

The power of AI for spend analytics

One ‘hot’ area in the technology space right now is Artificial Intelligence (AI). As a technology, it’s matured to the point where it can now be leveraged to improve our data cleansing and insights service as part of our Platform+ service. With the use of advanced analytics and AI algorithms, NHS trusts and ICSs can optimise their expenditure and identify areas where they can reduce costs, allowing them to focus on their core objectives.

At AdviseInc we’re using AI to leverage the years of detailed classification data so we can do more with it now and in the future. We’re automating the classification and cleansing of data by using AI to process data rapidly in real-time.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) automates repetitive and rule-based tasks in procurement processes. Hospitals can employ RPA to streamline activities like purchase order generation, invoice processing, and supplier onboarding. By automating these tasks, you can not only reduce errors but improve process efficiency, and free up staff to focus on more strategic activities. At AdviseInc we use RPA in a number of places across our infrastructure and it’s very good at performing repeatable tasks where a human can make mistakes, or let’s be honest – spend time doing it themselves when it adds no value.

Data driven decision making

AdviseInc is a strong believer in the power of data-driven decision-making and this will continue to be a big focus for us over the coming months and years. Our spend analytics platform  provides healthcare organisations  with a complete overview of their spending patterns, allowing users to identify trends in almost real-time. We help people to see how they might be able to use these insights to make decisions that are backed by data and eliminate guesswork. This is so important when it comes to making informed decisions about where to place next year’s spend.

Beyond procurement

At the moment most of the work AdviseInc has delivered with NHS trusts has been with procurement teams but looking ahead we’ll also be getting into more analytics for other departments such as finance and estates.

Spending is a significant contributor to financial risks which can be mitigated through effective spend analytics. We know that with our analytics capabilities, healthcare can effectively monitor and identify any financial irregularities in their spending patterns, allowing them to take corrective action before it turns into a significant problem.

The power of partnerships

Finally our partnership with HCSA, which is really important to us, enables us to provide tailored spend analytics solutions to help healthcare organisations save money. This will continue to grow in the next few months with the development of our Platform+ programme.

We’ve got some really exciting updates planned for the rest of the year that we think you’re going to love. A lot of what we’ve got in store actually came from talks we have with our customers. Our customers are everything to us, and we make it our top priority to be honest, transparent, and give practical advice whenever possible. By truly getting to know each of our clients, we’re able to understand exactly what you need and create custom solutions that work best for your organisation.

One of the things we love most about our jobs is helping our clients navigate their data and find innovative ways to work smarter, not harder. Spend analytics can indeed hold immense potential for hospitals to enhance their financial efficiency and optimise their resources. By thoroughly analysing their spending patterns, NHS trusts can gain valuable insights into their procurement processes, identify cost-saving opportunities, and make informed decisions about purchasing strategies. This not only helps to optimise budget allocation but allows the trust to streamline their operations, reduce unnecessary expenditures, and drive greater financial sustainability, ultimately benefiting both the organisation and the patients they serve.

We can’t wait to share more information on all this with you. Watch out for the next instalments on our blog, when we’ll be focusing on AI, health literacy and diversity and inclusion! Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for all the latest insights from our team.

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