AdviseInc is a great team, a great group of individuals and they’ve got a good product. We’d expect, with anything new, that the tool does whatever it does today. A tool that makes things better for everyone, says Alan Hoskins.
I’ve been working with the NHS for over 30 years. For me, it’s about giving back and building futures – not just for my family and friends, but communities. Health is such an important part of life. The feel-good factor that comes with doing what we do – making available the services, equipment, consumables and commissions is uniquely rewarding.
Along with doing national work for Health Education England, we offer procurement to hospitals in Portsmouth, Isle of Wight, and Clinical Commissioning Groups across Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex. There’s a lot of job satisfaction, yet the NHS can be a complex place. There’s a lot of bureaucracy in terms of what you do, when and how you do it, with lots of legislation and legal dynamics. In some ways that can make it more interesting, but also frustrating. Despite being an extremely busy environment, decisions can take time to follow through. Some processes involve multi-million or billion-pound contracts, so they can take years to put into place. Not everyone can work in that way.
Getting insight from AdviseInc’s Price Benchmarking solution
I’ve known the guys at AdviseInc for many years. One reason we started a contract with them was because of their national link. Most people took to AdviseInc’s Price Benchmarking product (PPIB in England) and everyone uses that tool to benchmark. The work the guys have done when it comes to exploring and understanding it has been better than what some have done in the past. With all these tools, you need to use it to understand it. There’s always ways of getting access, we’ve had webinars and the guys have come down to do some special training with the team. Investing in people who can talk positively about the product and its process is helpful and makes a real difference.
The main reason we wanted to use AdviseInc’s benchmarking tool was to get insight into what was going on and where to focus our efforts on getting results. And I would say it gives us insight into what others are paying and where the biggest opportunities are. Every year we have a work plan that delivers a range of money. We use the tool on nearly every contract we’re looking at to understand how much an item we’re buying costs on a national scale. If I’m paying £10 but can find someone else buying it for £5 and their usage is similar, I want to know why so I can get a better price. This insight gives us focus on where to look, which is great as it can save us time. We’re able to get a very quick snapshot of where there could be benefit, and then focus our energy on that organisation and start a conversation.
What we’d like to see continue to improve
There are always ways of improving these sorts of things. I think the most important one is making sure we continue to have good, accurate data in the system. AdviseInc is doing a great job in trying to cleanse the data, but how can we make it easier for the NHS by taking that data so it hasn’t got to be cleansed? We need to find a way of pushing out the right data, which we can then use to make sure good data goes back into the system. That way, we can continue to improve the quality of our data.
AdviseInc is a great team, a great group of individuals and they’ve got a good product. We’d expect, with anything new, that the tool does whatever it does today. A tool that makes things better for everyone.
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