Hospitals Ready For Amazon As A Supplier, Survey Says

As Amazon continues to explore entering the hospital supply chain, a survey from Reaction Data released this week suggests most hospitals would be open to having Amazon as a supplier.

Reports in Beckers Hospital Review said Reaction Data’s survey found 62 percent of decision makers at hospitals said they support Amazon’s entrance into the market. More than half (59 percent) said they are at least familiar with Amazon’s plans to become a hospital supplier.

Still, 29 percent said they were unaware of Amazon’s initiative. Only 12 percent said they would be unsupportive of the eCommerce conglomerate’s entrance in the market.

“Amazon is an amazing company that continues to evolve and disrupt,” said an unnamed Reaction Data director of operations in an interview with the publication. “I fully expect them to leverage their platform to deliver medical supplies that customers want in a way that others cannot — faster and at a lower price.”

Most hospital executives also told researchers that they believe Amazon will have a positive impact on the healthcare market overall, while only 10 percent said they predict that impact will be a negative one. Three-quarters predict Amazon will be successful in this initiative.

When it comes to what supplies the platform would provide to hospitals, nearly half said they hope to see commodities sold on Amazon; fewer than 10 percent said the platform should focus on surgical supply sales, pharmaceuticals, or IV solutions, reports said.

Earlier this year Amazon Business, the platform’s B2B commerce unit, continued exploring its entrance into the medical supply chain as executives from the company reportedly visited hospitals around the U.S. Reports in the Wall Street Journal in February said Amazon Business is discussing the opportunity with hospital executives and gaining feedback.

“Our goal is to be something new,” Chris Holt, leader of Global Healthcare at Amazon Business, said in the WSJ’s report. “We’ve been actively building out new capabilities and features.” The executive believes the current system to procure supplies is dated, explaining that Amazon aims to transform it rather than recreate something that already exists.

In April, Amazon reportedly pulled back from a plan to begin selling pharmaceuticals to the healthcare sector after the platform found the industry more difficult than it anticipated, unnamed sources told CNBC.