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How Do Hospitals Make Purchasing Decisions?

How do hospitals make purchasing decisions?

For healthcare institutions, choosing to make a purchase is often an extended, painstaking process that frequently takes a year or more. After all, particular medical devices, pharmaceuticals or electronic health record systems can have tremendous implications for the ability of providers to do their work effectively and the outcomes for patient wellness. The life sciences marketing and sales teams who are responsible for guiding medical professionals down this complicated purchase path need a sound understanding of all the factors that impact decision-making.

Armed with an awareness of the purchase process and databases full of relevant information, organizations can make smarter calls in creating advertising and physician email marketing campaigns. They must develop communications strategies around the concerns and preferences of healthcare professionals and ensure their messages are aimed at the right people. Connecting with medical professionals and seeing the purchase journey from their points of view is the beginning of forging the productive relationships that lead to sales.

Know who is involved

“A range of individuals take part in determining whether a hospital buys a product.”

A wide range of individuals may take part in determining whether a hospital buys a certain product. While committees of doctors have a major influence, input may also come from executive leaders, administrators and department heads. It’s vital for marketers and salespeople to realize the importance of this varied group of stakeholders and strive to understand the varying needs and desires specific to each type of decision maker.

Physicians tend to be mainly interested in maximizing treatment effectiveness and improving the patient experience, but a range of other interests come into play.  As a Google study found, administrators commonly balance their motivation to reach better clinical

outcomes with a desire to cut expenses where feasible.  Physicians and administrators seem to agree that ease of use and staff requirements for training are important considerations for large scale purchases. For all hospital departments, the transition to value-based care has meant an increased emphasis on keeping costs under control and maintaining efficient operations, strategic imperatives that have a powerful impact when buying new equipment.

Base messaging in market segmentation

The myriad people who may participate in decisions just make it more important for marketers to focus their messages appropriately. Drawing on business intelligence to target the right medical professionals with materials that catch their interest can make all the difference in delivering results over the long run. Life sciences organizations need access to current, clean data so they can get in touch with stakeholders and thoughtfully tailor content.

Regularly updated contact information for physicians and administrators is an essential start for marketers and salespeople. With the ability to target doctors within a specialty or executives at the right level of leadership, messages can be composed to capture the attention of a narrowly defined audience. Data taken from sources such as insurance claims enables life sciences businesses to dig deeper, finding out what conditions doctors often treat, which treatments they tend to administer and what patient demographics a facility routinely serves.

Professionals involved in purchase decisions for hospitals need to have a great deal of information.

Always have more information to share

Marketing and sales teams must be prepared to draw medical professionals along the way to investing in a life sciences product. That means having plenty of information on hand to make all stakeholders understand why a device, pharmaceutical or system is worth exploring further. Proactively addressing areas of interest or concern for physicians, administrators and insurers improves the chances of eventually reaching a sale.

An initial email makes the first impression, so it should present compelling clinical findings and be appealing to look at on a mobile device. That opening message culminates in a call to action that asks the recipient to take the next step by requesting further details. From there, medical professionals are likely to take a tangled journey through performing research and consulting on next steps.

By learning how hospitals come to their final choices in making purchases, life sciences organizations can provide all the necessary resources. Doctors and administrators always want to know more about how a product could bring about better treatment and prevention or improve operations. Marketers and salespeople gain an edge by thinking about the needs of medical professionals and putting extensive data to good use.

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