What Physicians Want In Medical Device Procurement
By John Crosier

As all of us navigate ever-more-complex health systems, and as the role of traditional stakeholders in the procurement process changes, the new reality for medical device manufacturers is to understand these new dynamics and make sure sales reps are equipped properly.

InCrowd conducted a MicroSurvey of 85 nurses and 123 surgeons in May 2017 to better understand how they see the current sales practices of medical device companies, what they look for, and how it fits into the procurement process of their practice settings. (Our survey did not include patients, who are also a core constituency and must be included as key drivers in medical device adoption.)

Safety and efficacy (and the subsequent well-being of patients) continue to be the top reasons nurses and surgeons look for when evaluating new products. In other words—quality and patient outcomes.

One key finding is that respondents want clinical data and want to know what other healthcare providers think as they consider a medical device. This is important as it underscores the need for manufacturers to research the market landscape as early as possible in the product lifecycle and develop a cohesive message that integrates healthcare provider feedback from successful clinical trials and adoption.

Surgeons and nurses in particular are increasingly becoming part of systems with more centralized operations. This means that procurement can often be a back office decision made with significant input from the frontline healthcare providers, thus changing the relationship between manufacturers, provider, and procurement staff.

According to a May 2017 report by Bain & Company, “more than 80% of surgeons and procurement officers say they work in collaborative partnerships to purchase medical equipment.”

And, these healthcare providers are now more focused than ever on economic value, in addition to efficacy and safety data. For medical device companies, this means that the opportunity is ripe to get a jump start on testing pricing models with physicians and surgeons.

This trend also highlights the fact that healthcare providers are becoming more proactive champions with their employers and procurement peers for products they like and want. Manufacturers, in turn, must be ready to speak to both these stakeholders by keeping tabs on and tracking physician opinions of their medical devices, throughout the sales and product lifecycles.

What respondents said they liked:

  • In-office demos and trials (24%)
  • Information on how the product will improve current practices (14%)
  • Supporting evidence and safety information (13%)

What respondents said they didn’t like:

  • Being pushy (28%)
  • Overstating the benefits (13%)
  • Lack of supporting evidence/data (12%)

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