Modern, private marketplaces are serving to bridge operational performance gaps between public and private sector healthcare providers. In procurement, the best systems can now translate and satisfy demand across commodity and sensitive preference categories alike. By controlling the clinical point of service, they are enabling a default state of compliance, thereby setting the table for all sorts of patient outcome-based improvements.
What’s changed? Given the scale, scope and complexities of the items and services purchased in healthcare, intelligent filtering at the clinical point of service is required. A sophisticated combination of indexing, machine learning algorithms and a deep knowledge of clinical context must be optimized for search relevance and speed. They must perform like they know who the requisitioner is, what he/she is looking for and where he/she is located at the time of requisition — a perfect example of artificial intelligence [AI].
Beyond filtering, when an item or service is purchased it must be matched to the correct source and applicable contract(s). This is accomplished via processes designed to capture conditional contractual benefits. Beyond simply alerting when specific volumes are achieved potentially triggering rebates and discounts, the system should be optimized to proactively accelerate their realization.
Mapping such nuance is a challenge requiring intimate knowledge of clinical settings in public sector constructs. Attempts aimed at abstracting benefit from cross-industry marketplace systems are foolish. General purpose systems have a track record of failure in healthcare’s private sector and will fail in the public sector for the same reasons.