The Community of healthcare innovation procurers gathers in Porto to take Healthcare Innovation Procurement to the next level

Procure4Health members are working on an action plan to drive the future of innovation procurement forward

The Community of healthcare innovation procurers gathers in Porto to take Healthcare Innovation Procurement to the next level

Procure4Health members are working on an action plan to drive the future of innovation procurement forward

Procure4Health, funded by the European Union through the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA), and led by the Andalusian Public Health System (Spain), is on a mission. From fostering knowledge exchange and capacity building to facilitating networking and partnerships, the community is driving innovation procurement in the healthcare sector. Following a demand-driven approach, procurers within the community have identified common needs that requires innovative solutions. These needs have been turned into challenges and now in the process of requesting feedback to the industry. Moreover, the learnings from the activities accomplished during the project will be shared with policy makers at European and national level to improve current innovation procurement policies.

From May 13th to 15th, 2024, Procure4Health members gathered in Porto, Portugal, for their on-site General Assembly meeting. This dynamic gathering not only kept the community focused on its objectives but also strengthened the collaborations among project partners.

A remarkable 76 Procuring Organisations have already joined the P4H Community

During the first day at Atrys Portugal, the Procure4Health partners reflected on the project’s significant activities accomplished so far, which are helping build the largest community of healthcare innovation procurers. This vibrant community comprises 377 organisations, among them 76 procuring entities and an impressive 680 individual members. Ultimately, Procure4Health seeks to consolidate the findings of the project’s activities into a unified vision for innovation procurement which reflects European procurers’ key priorities.

The second day at Hospital das Forças Armadas kicked off with an inspirational talk titled “View of Portuguese National health Service related to PPI” delivered by Pedro Guimarães, Presidente do Conselho de Administração da ULS Alto Ave. He outlined the seven strategies towards Integrated and Innovative Care, emphasizing that “the most critical challenge in Portugal nowadays is the clinical integration”.

Following Pedro Guimarães’ presentation, experience pitches delivered by Procure4Health founding members were key to exploring the diverse approaches to Healthcare Innovation Procurement in the countries represented in the project. Atrys Health Portugal, Ministry of Health of Turkey, Galician Public Health System, North Estonia Medical Centre, Region Västerbotten, National Services Scotland and the Voivodeship Specialist Hospital in Olsztyn made a series of 7 pitches of experiences highlighting the different geographical areas covered within the Community as well as the different frameworks and strategies implemented in each organisation in terms of Innovation Procurement.

To energise the session, Procure4Health partners were divided into groups to discuss and refine the key action areas outlined in the Action Plan that is being developed in the Procure4Health community: Sustainability, Digital healthcare, Integrated care, Predictive and precision medicine, Impactful innovation and Value-based procurement as a cross-cutting theme. Several critical topics were addressed during the group discussions, providing valuable insights and practical solutions to enhance procurement processes in healthcare:

Procurers’ most pressing needs: The urgent requirements of procurers were explored, including the need for clear priorities, detailed specifications, comprehensive market information, reliable partners, and sufficient resources.

Biggest barriers for procurers: Major obstacles that procurers face in meeting the needs of health and care professionals and patients were identified and analysed.

Urgent tools for procurers: Specific tools that procurers need most urgently were discussed, including who should provide these tools and their necessary specifications.

Recommendations for policy makers: Targeted recommendations were formulated specifically for policy makers to address the challenges identified.

Good practices to overcome barriers: Effective practices and strategies to overcome the barriers and successfully meet the needs of health and care professionals and patients were shared.

These discussions are set to drive improvements in procurement processes, ultimately benefiting the healthcare sector and enhancing patient care.

On the third day, a dynamic round table discussion called “What’s next in health – the role of the private health” was expertly moderated by Jose Miguel Araujo, Atrys Health Portugal, and supported by Oscar Gaspar, President of APHP (Portugues Association of Private Hospitals) and Paul Garauss, President of UEHP (European Union of Private Hospitals). In this session the speakers delved in the roles that private health is having in making new technology developments available to patients and what are the major challenges they face when doing so.

To conclude the Procure4Health General Assembly Meeting, the working groups facilitators presented the main conclusions extracted from the group discussions held on the second day. These inputs will be polished and incorporated to the Innovation Procurement Action Plan which aims to provide decision makers in healthcare policies with arguments and action points to facilitate innovation procurement in Europe.

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