IT Purchasing Process - Healthcare Systems
The purchasing process in the healthcare systems industry is not streamlined and mostly still relies on individual clinicians looking for IT supplies and engaging in the purchase process in order to acquire the necessary software and hardware. CFOs are the official key stakeholders when it comes to the approval of purchases. After the CFO approves the purchase of IT, the OEM and product are then added as a vendor in the purchasing software system either by the procurement team or the IT team themselves.
Primary and secondary influencers in the purchasing process
- Many healthcare systems report to be still relying on manual methods when it comes to tracking all procurement of IT systems and hardware.
- In the last decade, a number of academic studies have stated that clinicians are wasting up to 25% of their day looking for IT supplies or the latest clinical equipment for their workplace.
- According to Health Facilities Management Magazine, there exists no consistent equipment acquisition process that is recognized nationally, and the IT acquisition processes can vary across health care systems. In the majority of cases, IT equipment is chosen by a single clinician who has not consulted the correct multidisciplinary group of experts within the healthcare organization.
- Additionally, hospitals still largely use group purchasing organizations for all of their procurement needs. The reason for this is that hospitals "derive value from pricing benchmark data supplied by their GPOs as well as data analytics", specifically when it comes to IT as they allow for large savings and data support for value analysis.
- Overall, CFOs are the key stakeholders when it comes to the approval of purchases. After the CFO approves the purchase of IT, the OEM and product are then added as a vendor in the purchasing software system either by the procurement team or the IT team themselves.
- When it comes to department leads involved in the selection process for IT, 84% of healthcare institutions employs a chief information officer to oversee such manner, while 68% has a senior clinical IT leader, and 56% has a senior information security leader.
Primary IT needs
- Primary IT needs for healthcare providers include database management, security, analytics, point-of-care software, and cloud migration.
- In order to cut costs, hospitals and large clinical systems are highlighting the need for CMS reimbursement models that allow for "tailored, specific reporting that may be particular to certain conditions or even certain states or locations."
- Smaller healthcare establishments such as rural hospitals primarily report the need for connected systems that will allow for the collection and analysis of "social determinants of health (SDoH) data given the specific populations they serve across Medicare and Medicaid plans."
- Population health analytics are the software basis for hospitals in order to drive good physician performance as predictive analytics can assist hospitals and other clinical staff to appropriately staff high-cost centers such as emergency rooms.
- According to an annual study by HIMSS that included feedback from 269 U.S. health information and technology leaders, cybersecurity was established as the number one priority for healthcare institutions. It is followed closely by privacy, and security, making these issues so predominant that other priorities might even be put on the back burner in order to be able to find adequate solutions to cover all aspects of security.
- The second biggest priority is improving quality outcomes through using health databases and clinical intelligence.