Factors affecting procurement of wound care products: A qualitative study of hospital managers and clinicians' views

Elizabeth McInnes, Gill Harvey, Janet E. Hiller, Rosemary Phillips, Tamara Page, Rick Wiechula

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To identify factors that influence procurement and disinvestment decisions for wound care products in the acute care setting. Methods: A qualitative descriptive study was undertaken. Eighteen face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with purposively sampled senior clinical and non-clinical managers from three Australian acute care hospitals with responsibility for consumables procurement and disinvestment decisions. Data were coded and analysed thematically. Results: Three main themes (Systems and triggers, Evidence-free zone, Getting the governance right) with sub-themes were identified that reflect that: (1) procurement processes were often ad hoc and workarounds common. Disinvestment was poorly understood and opportunities were missed to reduce use of low value products ; (2) product selection was commonly based on clinician preference, contractual obligations and information from industry representatives; and (3) improved evidence-based governance and processes are needed to connect procurement and disinvestment decisions and to minimise the influences of clinician preference and industry representatives on product selection. Conclusions: Systematic and evidence-based approaches are needed to strengthen procurement and disinvestment decisions related to consumables such as wound care products and to minimise the purchasing of low-value products Decision-making frameworks should consider cost and clinical effectiveness and enable the identification of opportunities to disinvest from low-value products. What is known about the topic?: High volume-low unit cost healthcare consumables such as wound care products are a major component of healthcare expenditure. Disinvestment from low-value wound care products has potential to improve patient outcomes and optimise health resources. What does this paper add?: Disinvestment was poorly understood and considered in isolation from procurement decisions. Procurement decisions were rarely informed by research evidence, with clinicians exercising considerable freedom to make purchasing decisions based on product preference and industry information. Frameworks and guidelines are needed to guide procurement and disinvestment decision-making for wound care products. What are the implications for practitioners?: New models for procurement and disinvestment decision-making for wound care products could help to strengthen decision-making processes, facilitate evidence-based product choices and also prompt consideration of removal of low-value products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-73
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Health Review
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

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