Suppliers Porter and Teisberg on Redefining Health CareHarvard Business School


Providers  |  Health Plans  |  Suppliers  |  Employers  |  Patients  |  Government

Suppliers of medical products, technology, and services play vital roles in the value of health care delivery and innovation in health care practice. Despite this, many suppliers have perpetuated and reinforced zero-sum competition. Suppliers can add far more value to health care delivery than they have yet realized.

New opportunities for suppliers

Compete on delivering unique value over the full cycle of care

  • Base strategies on creating unique value for patients
  • Focus on cycles of care rather than narrow product usage
  • Sell not just products, but provider and patient support

Demonstrate value based on careful study of long-term results and costs versus alternative therapies

  • Use evidence of long-term clinical outcomes and cost to demonstrate value compared to alternative therapies
  • Conduct new types of long-term comparative studies in collaboration with providers and patients

Ensure that products are used by the right patients

  • Increase the success rate instead of maximizing usage
  • Target marketing and sales to minimize unnecessary or ineffective therapies

Ensure that products are embedded in the right care delivery processes

  • Help providers to utilize products better and minimize errors

Build marketing campaigns based on value, information, and customer support

  • Concentrate marketing efforts on value, not volume and discounts

Offer support services that add value rather than reinforce cost shifting

  • Support provider efforts to measure and improve results at the medical condition level
The Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at HBS