Baxter Healthcare has launched two online purchasing systems it says will significantly reduce purchasing costs.
The global healthcare technology provider also plans a wider online "Health Store" later this year.
Baxter New Zealand general manager David Pavey says the systems have the potential to transform the entire supply chain, bringing savings that can be spent on better healthcare.
"The Baxter Online Store System (BOSS) allows health professionals to purchase products directly from Baxter via the Internet, through a secure order entry system provided by esolutions - the Telecom, EDS and Microsoft alliance," he says.
The system is accessed through an Internet browser, with a unique login and password.
It has been trialed over the past year with major hospital groups in the North Island.
The second system - the Home Medical Equipment Service (HOMES) lets patients at home have their prescriptions delivered to them.
"HOMES will allow district nurses and clinical assessors to enter home-based patients' requirements for healthcare products into the electronic system , and have them delivered directly to the patient at home. HOMES also allows district nurses to electronically manage all of their patient data , and provides reporting facilities as well," Pavey says.
Three major contracts for the HOMES system are already in place, serving several thousand home-based New Zealand patients.
Pavey says the online "Health Store" B2C initiative, also hosted by esolutions, will tell customers where and how to buy goods online. It will form the first step in creating a health market place that will transform the healthcare market. It would be one of many markets esolutions plan to create.
"Esolutions is creating the the marketspace and healthcare providers like Baxter will essentially 'rent space' on it.
"The online health market place concept builds on the infrastructure provided by the health intranet, which links health providers electronically and allows them to share information," he says.
Again, Pavey says, the development will save health providers money, and give them choice in buying their supplies.