62% of hospital leaders support Amazon as a medical supplier

Amazon is making its move into healthcare by launching an exclusive line of 60 over-the-counter healthcare products and expanding its business-to-business marketplace to sell medical supplies to hospitals and clinics, and 62 percent of hospital leaders are supportive of the e-commerce giant's plan, according to a survey published by Reaction Data, a healthcare research and consulting firm.

For its survey, Reaction Data collected responses from 152 healthcare leaders, including CEOs, finance directors, operations directors and material management directors, to understand their thoughts about Amazon's foray into healthcare.

Here are seven things to know about the survey.

1. While Amazon shelved its plan to become a major supplier to large hospitals and clinics, the e-commerce giant will focus on beefing up its less sensitive medical supply offerings to smaller hospitals and clinics. In addition, it will continue developing its exclusive line of OTC healthcare products.

2. About 59 percent of hospital leaders indicated they were familiar with Amazon's plan to become a medical supplier, whereas 29 percent were unfamiliar and 12 percent indicated they were neutral.

3. Sixty-two percent of respondents were supportive of Amazon's plan, 26 percent were neutral, and 12 percent were unsupportive.

4. "Amazon is an amazing company that continues to evolve and disrupt. I fully expect them to leverage their platform to deliver medical supplies that customers want in a way that others cannot … faster and at a lower price," a director of operations told Reaction Data.

5. When asked if the e-commerce giant's effect on healthcare would be positive or negative, 61 percent of respondents said they believe Amazon's impact will be positive; 28 percent said they believe it will be neutral; and 10 percent said they believe it will be negative. While leaders said Amazon's disruptive pattern will be positive for healthcare, no leaders want disruption in delivery. Even Amazon supporters indicated the e-commerce giant would need to maintain its current level of accuracy if it wants to become a bigger medical supplier.

6. Only 11 percent of respondents said they believe Amazon will be unsuccessful as it moves into the healthcare marketplace; 75 percent of respondents predicted the e-commerce giant will be successful.

7. Half of respondents (49 percent) said Amazon's main focus should be selling commodities; 9 percent said it should focus on selling surgical supplies; 8 percent said entering the pharmaceutical space should be a priority; and another 8 percent said it should focus on selling IV solutions.

Read the full report here.

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