NSW Health to implement medical supply and inventory system

The service aims to provide a national uniform set of data around medication

The National e-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) has confirmed NSW Health will implement a medical supply and inventory system some nine months after it was trialled in the ACT.

The Master Catalogue Information Service (MCIS) aims to provide a national uniform set of data around medication. It will assist different health departments and jurisdictions automate validation, integration and synchronisation of the National Product Catalogue (NPC) data (published by suppliers), with the departments’ internal systems.

A spokesperson from NSW Health told Computerworld Australia the state has signed on to implement the MCIS but could not provide further detail about when implementation would commence.

A spokesperson for NEHTA said it was also in negotiations with both Queensland and the Northern Territory around implementation of the MCIS, while WA Health has shown interest in the MCIS but will wait for the NEHTA-led workshops to ensure its suitability.

VicHealth will not be implementing the system and is currently in the final stages of a tender selection process for the Victorian Product Catalogue, based on the MCIS concept, which will potentially extend to Tasmania Health.

SA Health has instead opted to implement an Oracle-based environment, which will follow the concept of the MCIS, according to the NEHTA spokesperson.

To date, ACT Health’s MCIS is in production and currently being used for synchronising the NPC data with the state’s Purchasing and Inventory Control System (PICS).

“The PICS system provides access of the centralised ACT Health catalogue to all their clients (customers),” the NEHTA spokesperson said. “End users access catalogue information via PICS which is being synchronised with the supplier catalogue that is published via the NPC.”

“During the synchronisation process, for each supplier ACT Health is able to identify discrepancies in product identification and pricing early on and ensure these discrepancies are resolved.

“When ACT Health orders products from synchronised suppliers, they do so without expecting wrong product or pricing discrepancies resulting in Payment Variations.”

According to the spokesperson, NEHTA is working with ACT Health establish the benefits and outcomes report.

“Operationally it would take three days to synchronise a supplier catalogue with around 350 products.

“Currently ACT need only check by exception and look at the discrepancies (rather than whole catalogue) with each discrepancy taking a maximum of five minutes to sort out.

“Generally for a supplier that has published clean data and up to date pricing only a few products may have discrepancies, for example one or two per cent of the catalogue, hence it is imperative for suppliers to publish clean, up-to-date data.”

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