Getting Real About Innovation at #HIMSS17 - Q&A with CEO Bruce Brandes

Who’s ready for HIMSS17 in t-minus two days!? In preparation for the show, we sat down with Bruce Brandes, Lucro CEO and co-founder, to hear his thoughts on emerging trends in hospital purchasing and ask what innovation progress he expects – and hopes – to see at the industry’s largest annual gathering.

Why is innovation in purchasing important to hospitals?

Historically in healthcare, there has rarely been a compelling reason to make decisions quickly, so buying/sales cycles tend to unacceptably long, fragmented and antiquated.

Today, with changes and new pressures in the healthcare marketplace, healthcare organizations no longer have the luxury to take years to make a decision. The market may pass them by if the can’t act in weeks, rather than years.

What is the single biggest mistake hospitals make when making purchasing decisions?

We repeatedly see a lack of focus and alignment create crippling inefficiencies. Organizations must clearly understand priorities and leverage their scale by tapping into the collective wisdom and experience that exists across their health system.

What three things can a hospital do to improve its purchasing process?

1. Define and focus on the projects required to support the organization’s strategic imperatives.
2. Have a centralized knowledge sharing to minimize duplication of effort or investment in products not relevant to prioritized projects.
3. Understand the potential value of solutions you already own and “use what you’ve got.”

What unique obstacles do vendors face in trying to sell into health systems?

Gaining access to the right decision-makers at the right organization at the right time is nearly impossible with traditional sales and marketing approaches.

The single biggest mistake I see vendors make in trying to sell to hospitals is assuming that just because they have this thing to sell, Mr. or Ms. Buyer have nothing more important than to meet and hear their pitch.

What three things can a vendor do to increase their sales effectiveness?

1. Focus first on the customer’s problem and honestly assess whether your offering is truly relevant.
2. Be concise and clear in communicating your value proposition.
Understand when persistence is becoming a detriment to you and your organization. Timing and appropriateness is everything.

What do you hope to see at HIMSS regarding innovation in hospital purchasing decisions?

I hope, but do not expect, to see the “noise” getting turned down. I do not believe that the shine of your giveaways or tricks your magician performs will do anything to influence buying decisions. My dream is that solutions will be judged on the value of the outcomes they can deliver rather than the size of your booth.


Bruce Brandes
CEO and Founder, Lucro

Bruce Brandes

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