Innovation Procurement – The Journey Continues
Every healthcare organization is regulated under strict legislation designed to protect the privacy and confidentiality of personal health information (PHI). A common cause of breaches is unauthorized access to PHI in electronic medical records (e.g. snooping). While open access promotes integrated, accessible, cost-effective and patient-centered care, it may also pose a threat to privacy unless safeguards are put in place to monitor, detect and even prevent this behavior.
In a complex and dynamic hospital environment, thousands of employees have access to PHI for hundreds of thousands of patient charts spanning across dozens of discrete information systems. As a result, monitoring every single access point can be a challenging undertaking – particularly since Privacy resources tend to be limited across most hospitals. The Privacy Officer manually reviews the audit log data from applicable systems using rules and logic to visually identify suspected breaches. Given the high volume of transactions, it is not feasible to audit all transactions across all systems with this manual approach.
Mackenzie Health has partnered with the Mackenzie Innovation Institute (Mi²) to develop an innovative procurement approach to address this challenge – Privacy Auditing Innovation (PAIP) Project.
Limitations of a Traditional Procurement
Traditional procurement models lack the flexibility that is needed to attract and inspire innovative solutions to complex problems. A traditional procurement typically involves the following stages:
This traditional approach often limits vendors to propose solutions that already exist in the market which are built with pre-defined set of technical specifications. Vendors are also limited to only one opportunity to submit a proposal, based on their assumptions and understanding of the procuring organization’s needs and have little opportunity for clarification. Likewise, organizations are then limited by their own understanding of one proposal from a given vendor, and may end up with a less-optimized solution.
An Outcome Based Specification Approach to Procurement
Unlike the traditional procurement approach, an innovation procurement process enables the hospital to describe the problem that needs to be solved and specify the expected outcomes of the solution, without the constraints of defined technical specifications. “Outcome Based Specifications” describe the desired functions, performance and benefits of the solution, rather than the technical specifications that determine how the solution should achieve those outcomes. This less prescriptive approach to procurement opens up numerous opportunities for vendors to produce creative and relevant solutions that can be scaled beyond a hospital setting.
Innovation Procurement through the Competitive Dialogue Process
Innovation procurement allows for a more flexible process that encourages open dialogue between the hospital and vendors. This in turn provides invaluable opportunities for all parties to establish a mutual understanding of the desired outcomes and potential solutions, clarify any assumptions, and ultimately generate solutions that meet (or exceed) expectations. This overall process is depicted in the diagram below:
In collaboration with Mi2, Michael Garron Hospital and Markham Stouffville Hospital, Mackenzie Health recently led multiple rounds of Competitive Dialogue sessions with short-listed vendors for the Privacy Auditing Innovation Procurement (PAIP) Project. The project team identified a preferred vendor through this process and successfully kicked off the six-month pilot project in October 2017. This pilot phase is expected to involve additional opportunities for innovation through iterative cycles of enhancement with the preferred vendor. This phase will also provide an opportunity for Mackenzie Health and key partners to evaluate the ability of the solution to meet the outcome-based Specifications identified at the very beginning of the project and determine whether to proceed with a long-term contract with the preferred vendor. Due to the flexible and agile approach taken with this procurement process, the project and senior leadership teams have been able to effectively manage challenges along the way.
Mi2 is continuing to build capacity for adopting innovation procurement methodologies to develop and bring new solutions to market. Part of Mi²’s mandate is to act as a source for implementation and evaluation of disruptive innovations by sharing our growing knowledge and expertise in innovation-based procurement. Mi² has already engaged in opportunities to showcase knowledge at conferences and industry events and looks forward to sharing our experiences with other organizations. Mi² is currently evaluating numerous opportunities for new projects that can benefit from using innovation-based procurement models. Looking ahead, Mi2 is thrilled to be working with Mackenzie Health and its partner organizations on the next phase of this exciting initiative.