The Future of Healthcare Procurement: Trends and Predictions

Healthcare procurement is the invisible grease that keeps the wheels of healthcare turning. In short, healthcare procurement is the process of purchasing products, equipment, medicine, and other services healthcare providers need to operate. Without it, hospitals would have no beds, surgeons would have no equipment, and pharmacies would have no medicine.  

As the medical field experiences rapid innovation, it’s more important than ever for healthcare procurement to keep pace with emerging trends. In this blog, we’ll cover a few of these trends and predictions and discuss how procurement teams can leverage tools like digitalization and data analytics to further efficiency, sustainability, and cost savings for providers and their patients alike. 

Digitalization in Healthcare Procurement

In an increasingly online world, it’s no wonder that digitalization has spread to nearly every field—not least of them healthcare. Digitalization refers to advancements in digital technology used to innovate and improve the healthcare procurement process. For example, the mass transfer of patient information from paper records to computer databases significantly improved efficiency and organization, while freeing up more time for staff to provide direct patient care. On the procurement end, online product information and payment processing platforms have streamlined requesting and ordering medical supplies while ensuring payment remains easy and secure.  

More recently, artificial intelligence (AI) tools have emerged as the newest frontier in healthcare procurement. In fact, almost 60% of healthcare executives surveyed said that artificial intelligence is either “very” or “often” effective at improving healthcare outcomes. And while we’re only just beginning to explore what it can do, it’s clear that embracing AI and other digitalization efforts can allow procurement teams to increase efficiency, improve transparency, and drive greater cost savings across the board. 

Sustainability in Healthcare Procurement

In a healthcare system ever expanding to take on a growing patient population, challenges to sustainability inevitably rise. A few of these challenges include increased medical waste, outsized water and energy use, and the further depletion of resources and biodiversity to build new manufacturing facilities—all of which contribute to the industry’s massive carbon footprint. In the face of such challenges, it becomes increasingly critical to promote sustainable healthcare procurement.  

Environmentally friendly procurement can begin with small changes, like switching to green cleaning products, and build up to larger ones, like minimizing energy use in favor of solar power or harvesting rainwater for irrigation and plumbing. Many environmentally friendly initiatives can work just as well or better than alternatives, and are often more cost effective as well, thanks in part to their reusable nature. When implemented with an attitude toward positive change, the benefits of sustainable procurement are undeniable, including cost savings, reduced waste, and enhanced brand reputation.  

Predictions for the Future

Looking ahead, future trends in healthcare procurement are likely to be shaped by further advancements in digitalization, data analytics, and sustainability. With the increasing integration of digital technologies, procurement processes will become more streamlined, efficient, and transparent. Advanced procurement platforms leveraging AI and automation will enable real-time tracking of inventory, optimized supply chain management, and predictive analytics for demand forecasting. This digital transformation will improve operational efficiency while also enhancing decision-making capabilities, allowing healthcare organizations to respond more effectively to changing market dynamics and patient needs. 

Data analytics are also sure to play a pivotal role in shaping healthcare procurement strategies. By leveraging big data and predictive analytics, organizations can gain deeper insights into purchasing patterns, supplier performance, and cost optimization opportunities. These insights will enable proactive risk management, strategic sourcing decisions, and the identification of sustainable procurement practices. Overall, the convergence of digitalization, data analytics, and sustainability will continue to reshape the healthcare procurement landscape, driving greater efficiency, transparency, and sustainability across the supply chain. 

Innovation & Efficiency Through GPO Collaboration

For healthcare procurement to reach its full potential, healthcare organizations and Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) must work together. SourceMark proves this by reliably and consistently providing quality, patient-centric products to healthcare systems across the country through long-term collaborations with top GPOs. Together, SourceMark and our affiliates bridge the gap between the operational and clinical sides of healthcare, empowering healthcare organizations to maximize efficiency, save costs, and deliver superior care.  

Data analytics play an important role in SourceMark’s relationships with GPOs. These analytics are leveraged to identify and mitigate risks in our supply chain, ensuring we provide hospitals and healthcare systems with essential supplies during weather and other emergencies. SourceMark also uses data analytics to ensure quality and performance in our products, and predictive data analytics to help our partners predict when to replenish supplies to avoid stockouts.  

By analyzing procurement data, SourceMark works with GPOs to eliminate unnecessary expenses, optimize budgets, and deliver the best possible value to our customers. Our performance metrics provide the best testament to the efficacy of this data-driven approach: 

  • Over 1,150 of our facilities are processing orders via EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) 
  • We have a 97% average fill rate on orders, with 96.2% shipped within 3 days, and 98.2% shipped within 7 days 
  • Our invoice accuracy is 98% 

As a green-friendly organization with a focus on minimizing our carbon footprint and the environmental impact of the healthcare industry overall, SourceMark has taken several concrete steps, including: 

  • Eco-friendly materials: We intentionally choose materials with positive environmental profiles with sustainable packaging options to reduce waste. 
  • Efficient operations: SourceMark maximizes efficiency in our logistics operations to minimize use of petroleum and other gases.  
  • Responsible supply chain: SourceMark only partners with suppliers who share our commitment to sustainability, ensuring our products are sourced and delivered responsibly.  

By prioritizing sustainability, data analytics, and digitalization, SourceMark anticipates continued leadership in GPO collaborations, helping to drive efficiency and innovation in our procurement strategy from end to end.  

Healthcare procurement serves as the linchpin of the healthcare industry, ensuring that hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies have the essential resources they need to provide care. As the healthcare landscape undergoes rapid innovation, it becomes increasingly mission critical for procurement to adapt and embrace emerging trends.  

Looking ahead, the convergence of digitalization and data analytics promises to streamline procurement processes even more, offering real-time insights and predictive capabilities that enable proactive decision-making. The emphasis on sustainability in procurement practices underscores a commitment to environmental stewardship and resource conservation, aligning with broader societal goals and enhancing brand reputation. 

In this transformative journey, collaborations between healthcare organizations, GPOs, and suppliers emerge as essential partnerships for driving innovation. By prioritizing sustainability, data-driven decision-making, and technological innovation, SourceMark remains at the forefront of GPO collaborations, poised to lead the evolution of healthcare procurement toward a more efficient, sustainable, and patient-centric future.  

We’re ready to help deliver positive patient experiences and better clinical outcomes. Get in touch with us for more information about our innovative and cost-effective solutions.