8 findings on hospital purchasing decisions

As hospitals continue to shift attention from basic cost reductions to improving value and outcomes of healthcare services, primary influencers on hospitals' purchasing decisions will change as well, according to Ernst & Young's 2014 report, "Pulse of the industry: Differentiating differently." Most notably, physicians will experience the biggest decrease in influence.  

The survey assessed responses from 162 healthcare workers including 85 in clinical roles and 77 in hospital administrative or managerial roles. The results revealed physicians are expected to become significantly less influential in hospitals' purchasing decisions in the next three years, while payers and insurers will experience the most significant increase as influencers, though from a low base. Managers and administrators, those charged with the responsibility of measuring and rewarding value, will wield significant influence on hospitals' purchasing decisions.

According to the survey, the following groups are ranked as currently having the most influence on hospitals' purchasing decisions. Each group is ranked on a scale from zero to 2.5, with higher scores indicating more influence.

  • Physicians — 2.4
  • CFO, finance department — 1.7
  • Procurement, purchasing department — 1.6
  • Payers and insurers — 0.2

The following groups are predicted to have the most influence over hospitals' purchasing decisions in three years.

  • Physicians — 1.9 (0.5 decrease in ranking)
  • CFO, finance department — 1.9 (0.2 increase)
  • Procurement, purchasing department — 1.7 (0.1 increase)
  • Payers and insurers — 0.5 (0.2 increase)

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