Because the patient experience plays so heavily into healthcare funding through indicators like HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores, many feel that the pendulum is starting to swing toward a more holistic view of healthcare. This means that suppliers are not only evaluated on cost, but how they can assist with sustainability initiatives, infection prevention, patient satisfaction and other efforts within the operation.

At Network, integrated resources are offered to help distributors service healthcare organizations at every level. 

“We have human resources with expertise in different areas of the business: supply chain, product standardization/optimization, operation and labor analysis, equipment/asset management and safety and sustainability measures,” says Whittle. “This keeps our distributors more relevant and aligned with the evolving needs of the customer.” 

Throughout this evolution, there has also been an increasing emphasis and awareness for the role that cleaning plays in infection prevention. This creates an opportunity for distributors who can market and articulate how their products and services align with both patient satisfaction and infection prevention.

Marketing and communication programs help distributors promote these value propositions. For example, Triple S provides members with email marketing tools, call scripts and other content marketing materials to help them communicate their service value and generate sales leads.

“Communicating healthcare solutions is not merely sharing facts and figures,” says Ray Ranger, director of healthcare, Triple S, Billerica, Massachusetts. “The marketing program starts with an understanding of healthcare wants and needs, and recognizing and addressing their desired outcomes, like reductions in healthcare acquired infections (HAIs), patient and resident satisfaction.” 

Beyond marketing resources, buying groups also offer extensive healthcare training programs, many of which are hosted online and available to members and their customers whenever they need them. These online portals offer training in the form of webinars and educational resource materials, covering a variety of healthcare-related topics, such as microbiology, cross-contamination, infection prevention best practices and more. 

“Unlike other industries, if you don’t clean correctly, people can get sick and die,” says Rosenfield. “We need to understand the science behind infection prevention and work to help our customers understand the critical role they play in breaking the chain of infection.”

Buying groups’ training programs typically cover reducing HAI occurrences through proper surface disinfection and hand hygiene. Some programs will also offer on-site staff training for sanitary consistency. 

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