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EPOS

E-Procurement Optimised System for the Healthcare Marketplace

Project Concept

Hospitals are constantly seeking ways to reduce their procurement costs and to enforce transparent procedures that conform to standards, in order to achieve efficiency and quality of operations. E-procurement, in contrast to traditional procurement methods, offers important advantages to both hospitals or other health services acting as buyers of healthcare supplies, and to suppliers of healthcare items and devices, either producers or traders.

The focus of the EPOS project (Grant Agreement number: C517390) is to investigate and validate the efficiency of a novel e-procurement platform that aims to serve as a virtual marketplace for the procurement of healthcare supplies. The core services of the platform include exchange of information between suppliers of healthcare materials / pharmaceutical companies and the hospitals, decision support, and workflow management.

Project Results

The successful deployment of the EPOS e-procurement platform will facilitate better strategic management and decision-making concerning the procurement of health supplies, will significantly reduce the administrative overhead of order processing, will facilitate more accurate (error-free) and timely order placement and fulfilment, will enable easier order tracking and tracing, and will improve the overall effieciency of the health procurement supply chain.

Healthcare providers will be able to manage their contracts, exhibit their products through the available product e-catalogues, and participate in negotiations and pricing arrangements, according to the business and logistics environment that is followed by suppliers and hospitals. Hospitals will be able to cut down procurement cycles, enhance transparency, improve the allocation of resources, share knowledge, and achieve economies of scale.

The benefits of the EPOS e-procurement platform for different stakeholders can be summarised in the following.

Benefits for Hospitals:

  • Convenient access to wider range of suppliers, improving competition and decreasing the costs
  • Shorter purchasing and order-fulfilment cycles
  • More information readily available, such as background on new suppliers, related tenders, earlier tenders/purchases of the same nature, estimated prices
  • State-of-the art security for all parties
  • Significant reductions in paper handling
  • Ensured compliance with procurement laws and regulations

Benefits for Suppliers of Healthcare Products:

  • Opportunity to participate in more auctions and negotiations with lower participation cost and effort
  • Possibility to expand to cross-border activity and address the pan-European market
  • Ability to form selling groups and collectively address large tenders
  • Adoption of product cataloguing and conformance to a business and logistical environment common to both suppliers and hospitals
  • Electronic publication of product information through supplier catalogues
  • Automatic notification of running tenders related to their own field of activity

Duration

01/06/2004 - 31/12/2005

SEERC Budget

178.000 €

Funding

eTen programme, DG Information Society & Media, European Commission)

Partners

Related Publications

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