Recently Google and HIMSS Analytics teamed up to conduct a study to evaluate The Doctor Will See you Now: How Hospitals Administrators Make Purchase Decisions, with the conclusion that "Digital tools [have an] influence throughout a buyer's decision journey" and highlighting the need for a company's online information to be compatible with mobile devices. They collected and listed the numerous decision makers to convey the conclusion that there are 'many opportunities to enter into the consideration set'.
What they failed to identify is the type of information that is considered valuable, and the changing decision making process.
First, that replacing old equipment has been the primary trigger for purchasing is old news, especially when the equipment is expensive. For insights on how to estimate replacement costs, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJ) has a proven tool: The Medical Return on Investment Template.
Brief note on RWJ: For over 40 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has provided private funds in the public's to improve the health and health care of all Americans". They have helped shape key efforts to improve the nation's health and health care, ranging from the development of the 911 emergency call system to the improvement of care at the end of life.
Second, the decision making process is shifting, but the conclusion that there are many opportunities to enter is actually misleading. If anything there are fewer opportunities for the less expensive technologies. Historically purchasing was conducted at the provider and clinic management level, where vendors had tremendous amount of opportunity to influence the research and sales. With the Open Payments (aka, Physician Financial Transparency Reports, Sunshine Act), these practices have become transparent. In addition to the numerous pressures to increase quality, control costs, and transparency, there is a move for the purchasing decision to be centralized model with committees making the decision. Yes, these committees include the list of influencers listed in the study, yet the greatest online information that influences a committee is not the company's online presence. It is the products performance in the online Peer-Reviewed journals, such as Kaiser Permanente new technology review process and Blue Cross Blue Shield Technology Evaluation Center.
It is the ability to compare evidentiary information that is becoming the critical factor, and not just the studies from regulatory process. If anything all the studies in totality (domestic and international) and critical.
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