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Organizations who buy and sell medical products—hospitals, or "providers", and the companies they purchase supplies from, or “suppliers”—have experienced a dramatic supply chain management transformation since the inception of healthcare e-commerce at the turn of the century. When the trading exchange opened in 2000, healthcare was desperate for a better, more efficient and effective way of doing business. Today, technology enables a high degree of supply chain automation, and the benefits for materials management in healthcare have been and will continue to be far-reaching. With e-commerce and technology, healthcare organizations will continue to embrace and adopt more efficient business processes, positively impacting revenue cycles and reducing operating costs.
As healthcare organizations continue to embrace best technologies, new solutions emerge for this industry that has historically been plagued by manual, inefficient and costly challenges. Additionally, with automation the door opens to something obtainable only in limited ways before—data. E-commerce enables healthcare systems to collect data that will shed light process inefficiencies, guiding us to focus attention on problem areas of our supply chain. As a result, services across healthcare organizations—from procurement to invoicing to inventory and everything in between—will advance the industry in ways we only dreamt of a decade ago.