Benefits of the National Product Catalogue for Australian Health Provider Recipients

How does the NPC benefit procurement, supply chain, clinicians and ultimately patients?


Offering organisations involved in Australian healthcare a single point of connectivity, a common set of attributes, one common format, and the potential for an automated approach to assist in the management of product data, the NPC is all about efficiency for the sector and its stakeholders.

As a highly efficient automated process for keeping product information reliable, properly formatted, and up to date, the NPC lays the foundation for improved data quality, traceability, efficiency, and effectiveness to help drive costs out of the supply chain and enhance patient safety.

  • Based on global and industry defined standards, the core of the NPC is to provide a single process sharing consistent item data for use across all trading partners and processes. The elimination of duplication of processes lies at its core with the goal to enable greater quality controls and ensure that the data used within healthcare comes directly from the supplier, not via crowd sourcing, third parties, easily manipulated spreadsheet or from people who should be focussed on providing care to patients.

  • Supportive of enhanced business processes and automation by enabling more timely and therefore most accurate data to be available for use within all business processes. Ensuring that data and the identification of products is consistent across all systems and processes empowers real time data capture and greater use of data analytics. 

  • Increased efficiency within data management processes by removing the need to request data from suppliers for new products. This eliminates the repetitive and non-value adding processes of suppliers needing to recreate data in a myriad of formats, whilst at the same time supporting greater controls and data ownership within organisations. The ability to control data creation and align to internal data management processes ensures quality data to support improved processes across a wide variety of use cases. The documented use cases are available for further reference.

  • As the NPC has been developed for and with the Australian healthcare sector, with stakeholders from across the sector provide a governance advisory layer, this collaborative environment ensures benefits to all users and a balanced approach to data requirements that are more easily managed by suppliers whilst still meeting the needs of the healthcare organisation.

  • A single process for sourcing data related to financial management processes (e.g. Reimbursement codes) associated to each individual item removes the guesswork and necessity to check with suppliers for correct codes. There is also the option for health provider organisations to utilise the NPC to source One-to-One pricing data, again direct from the supplier, through the secure electronic messaging environment the NPC provides.

  • Links to trusted documentation related to products can be provided within the product data file (eg: Safety Data Sheets, Instructions for Use) to support the need for additional information related to products used within health providers. Providing the validated links ensures the right reference documents are used but also supports the transformation of industry to remove unnecessary printed documentation.

  • Linkages to product images or instructional videos can also be provided directly from supplier to help staff within health services more easily choose products and to correctly use them.