Overhead view of stethoscope, pen and laptop next to a pair of glasses

How data can improve healthcare

24 July 2018
Software program could reduce hospital spending substantially
New data-driven software developed by Dr Aldo Saavedra and Dr Erick Li cuts through laborious, complex and costly pharmaceutical procurement processes to free up hospital resources for better patient care.

Research highlights with Erick Li and Aldo Saavedra

Each year, NSW Health spends about $1.8 billion on drug, medical and surgical supplies. Newly developed software is set to streamline the pharmaceutical purchasing process and reduce expenditure, freeing up funds that can better be directed toward patient care.

The software was developed in conjunction with Sydney’s Westmead Hospital by Dr Erick Li, Senior Lecturer in Business Analytics, and Dr Aldo Saavedra, Senior Research Scientist with the Faculty of Health Sciences.

With considerable data at their fingertips, Westmead Hospital’s pharmaceutical team turned to the University of Sydney to leverage business, technical and analytical expertise to help solve the hospital's procurement challenges.

The new system will automate and replace the time-consuming process of selecting the most cost-effective pharmaceuticals by manually comparing information on thousands of products with prices that vary from month to month.

When I started working at the hospital everyone talked about keeping the lights on. That’s all the budget allowed for. Nobody was trying to introduce better practices. So with our little tool we have been able to show the value of data.
Dr Aldo Saavedra


Listen to an interview with Dr Erick Li and Dr Aldo Saavedra about their research.

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