In the current healthcare system, there is not enough opportunity for healthcare providers (hospitals, group purchasing organizations, shared service organizations, etc.) to collaborate with their suppliers to make better decisions. There are four reasons for this:
- Public scrutiny of healthcare dollars spent has forced many providers to be become more risk averse
- Government purchasing legislation has forced purchasing departments to have much more influence in the buying process
- Providers are short on knowledgable resources
- Providers don't know all of the options available to them.
We need to encourage providers to make smart business decisions and leverage the expertise of their suppliers. Provide for a purchasing process that allows for a discussion between the provider and supplier in order to come up with the best possible solution and outcome. When this doesn't happen, I call it the Collaboration Gap, which is depicted in the visual below.