Healthcare Purchasing: Who are The Primary Decision Makers?

Healthcare Purchasing: Who are The Primary Decision Makers?

In most businesses, the decision about whether to buy and who to buy from often comes down to one person or a small group of people. The healthcare industry is certainly no different.

When it comes to healthcare purchasing, making a sale often comes down to finding the primary decision makers in a business. But who exactly that is and what their job title is can vary from company to company.

In this article, we take a look at what a primary decision maker for healthcare purchasing is and who they typically are in the business structure. We also provide a few tips for how to identify the decision makers in your client businesses.

Who Is the Primary Decision Maker for Healthcare Purchasing?

Every business has a person or small group of people who have the ultimate say when it comes to purchasing. No matter how large or small a business is, or how many people are involved in evaluating its options, someone has to decide what to do. This person is known as the primary decision maker and in some cases, it may be more than one person.

Healthcare businesses such as hospitals, surgical centers, and others have big decisions to make about suppliers. They typically require lots of supplies, so those decisions can have a large impact on the business. Learning who the decision makers are in the hospital procurement process is essential to making sales.

Purchasing Decision Makers vs. Key Opinion Leaders

The primary decision makers in a healthcare business are often the most influential people when it comes to purchasing, but not always. And even when they are, other people can have a strong influence on purchasing considerations, even if they don’t ultimately have the final say. These people are known as key opinion leaders.

It may be helpful to think of key opinion leaders as the influencers of their company. In healthcare businesses this is often a well-respected veteran physician. It’s someone whose opinion people value, and they can guide and shape many decisions in those businesses – including purchasing.

A key opinion leader can be a valuable asset to any salesperson. If they believe that a certain product is the right choice for the company, others will listen. They don’t have the authority of the primary decision maker in a healthcare business, but their opinions tend to play a major role in those decisions.

Who Are the Primary Medical Decision Makers for Purchasing?

There are no hard and fast rules about who makes purchasing decisions for healthcare companies. That role will vary between businesses. Which person or people serve as the primary decision maker for healthcare purchasing depends on the size and structure of a company.

In larger companies, that role could be a full-time job on its own. In other companies, that person may be the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), or even the company’s CEO. Some hospitals have a Chief Clinical Officer (CCO) whose job is to manage clinical quality and patient relations. This person could also be the primary purchasing decision maker.

How to Identify a Medical Purchasing Primary Decision Maker

When you contact a prospective client business, someone may tell you straight away who the primary decision maker is. But in some cases, finding out who makes the purchasing decisions could take some digging.

Here are a few tactics for finding the primary decision maker in a healthcare business:

  • Ask around: If you take the time to talk to employees, there’s a good chance you can easily find out who makes the big decisions about healthcare purchasing. This is a good first step because it also helps you build auxiliary relationships.
  • Talk to other suppliers: Another quick way to identify a primary decision maker is to talk to other suppliers who have contracts with the business. Suppliers that see you as competition may not be willing to provide that information, so it’s best to target suppliers of products that are unrelated to the ones your company sells.
  • Aim high: You may not always get a response, but it’s worth reaching out to a company CEO or other C-suite executive. They may be the primary decision maker, but even if they’re not, they likely know who is.

Remember, you don’t just have to identify these people, you also have to build relationships with them. It’s important to not be too aggressive when pursuing a lead and risk turning off the primary decision maker or the people that can lead you to them.

Healthcare Purchasing Primary Decision Makers: Conclusion

The primary decision makers for healthcare purchasing vary from business to business. They may be a C-level executive or even the CEO themself. In larger hospitals and networks, the purchasing decision maker may be its own job.

You can find out who the primary decision maker is by asking other employees directly or talking to other suppliers who you’re not in competition with. You can also try contacting executives directly.

But as any salesperson knows, relationships are everything. The stronger your relationship is with employees at a business – even lower-level workers – the easier it will be to close a sale. Everyone in a company can help you get closer to the primary decision maker and build a mutually-beneficial relationship.

Primary Decision Makers in Healthcare: FAQ

Who are the primary decision makers in healthcare purchasing?
Who the primary decision maker is in a healthcare business varies between companies. Making purchasing decisions could be its own role in larger companies. In smaller organizations, it may be a C-level executive or even the CEO.

Do hospital CEOs make purchasing decisions?
CEOs sometimes make the purchasing decisions for healthcare businesses, but not always. In some companies, that role could belong to the CFO, COO, or CCO. In others, it may be its own role.

Are doctors the primary decision makers for healthcare purchases?
In some cases, a doctor may be the primary decision maker for healthcare purchases. However, that role more often belongs to an executive. Physicians often still have a large influence on those decisions, even if they don’t have the authority to make them.

MediGroup is The Leader in Focused Group Purchasing

Contact Us