This year marks a decade in business for Hospital Innovations, a forerunner in the supply of specialist products for use in orthopaedic, surgical and corrective procedures. Here, founder and managing director of Hospital Innovations, Phil Davies, answers questions about the company’s ongoing success
How did you get into orthopaedics?
I originally trained as a teacher at what is now Cardiff Metropolitan University in Cardiff.
However, from 1983 I spent 18 years at Johnson & Johnson, ending my career with them as Sales & Marketing Director for De Puy. Then I joined Plus Orthopaedics as UK Managing Director until the sale of Plus Orthopaedics to Smith & Nephew. In 2007, I left to set up Hospital Innovations.
What inspired you to start Hospital Innovations?
Having spent almost 25 years in orthopaedic joint reconstruction I felt that the future development of non-joint replacement products and early interventional solutions was the direction for my future involvement in the industry.
How has the industry changed since you first started out?
When we first brought tissue to the UK there were relatively few options available for surgeons to choose from. More recently, we have seen new entrants into the UK tissue field and I’m pleased to note that we were well ahead of everyone in the way that we approached the supply and storage of human tissue.
You work with companies all over the world. What are the differences you notice in other places?
Our supplier base is heavily USA-dominated, however our sales network covers a number of European distributors. Many of the European countries do not seem to have the financial constraints that we encounter here. While it is important to understand the constraints, I do feel that some innovative technologies are being missed due to a lack of good health economics data.
What innovation are you most proud of?
I am very proud of the fact that we initiated the first tissue return service in the UK. This was so successful in saving our customers money that it became industry standard practice. We were also involved in the UK’s first implantation of Fresh Osteochondral Graft back in 2010, helping to provide additional treatment options for cartilage resurfacing procedures.
We have the only human-to-human nerve allograft in the world. Recently NICE-approved, it’s a truly innovative product, destined to change the way nerve damage patients are treated in the future.
We have recently secured contractual rights for a single use arthroscope. It’s the only one of its kind, and a true innovation in the area of diagnostic medicine.
What do you think has been key to 10 years of success?
Good people, good products and good processes. If we get these things right, then we are doing the best for our customers and ultimately the patients they treat.
What frustrates you in business?
I would say that managing expectation is always a frustration, whether it be from our suppliers, our customers or our staff.
Finding and retaining good people is always difficult and
often our good people believe the grass is greener elsewhere, usually this is not the case.
After so many years in the industry, what excites you?
I am excited when I see what fantastic product advancements on the horizon.
It excites me when I see people that have worked with us grow and develop as individuals.
It also still excites me when I get offered an upgrade on any business flight!
What makes Hospital Innovations different from your competitors?
I have personally been involved in allograft tissue since 2002, Hospital Innovations has been a dedicated human tissue company since 2008. There are no other private tissue companies in the UK that come close to this.
We also deal with four separate tissue processing companies in the USA, giving our customers more choice than any other tissue company in the UK.
Our ability to bring new and progressive products and processes to the UK market gives our customers confidence that they can access all the products they need to secure successful outcomes.
I also believe it’s the attitude we have towards service and support, as well as a general desire to do the right thing. Our people are very passionate about what they do as individuals and the patient focus is paramount in anything we do as a team.
What is the biggest challenge your company has faced?
The health climate in the UK puts a strain on hospitals and a desire to drive down prices. We understand this and work with our suppliers to try and meet their requirements.
The adverse move in the sterling-to-dollar exchange rate over the past 18 months has not made life easy!
A good company responds to these factors to ensure they remain fit for purpose.
Where do you see Hospital Innovations in 10 years?
Hospital Innovations has grown consistently since day one. This will continue as we introduce new products and new technologies. As a distributor it is essential that our product range reflects current industry needs and this allows us to change our portfolio and maintain the most appropriate and high-quality products at any given time.
To discover more about Hospital Innovations and to view its products, visit www.hospitalinnovations.com