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Ecommerce: From and Through a Healthcare Portal

In today's on-line environment, eCommerce is already changing the healthcare industry. Current business-to-consumer sites include Drugstore.com and PlanteRx, which provide sales of prescription and over-the-counter products to consumers. WebMD and drkoop.com provide information and product promotion to consumers and doctors alike.
Non-contractual business-to-business healthcare web sites that provide sales of medical supplies to institutions are Neoforma and Medibuy. Chemdex and SciQuest are non-contractual in respect to the sales of lab supplies to pharmaceutical Research and Development companies.

Ecommerce in Hospitals: eCommerce has been identified as a leading practice in the healthcare supply chain.The 'big things' hospitals include:

  1. Electronic requisitioning
  2. Electronic replenishment
  3. Electronic fund transfers
  4. Contract database management

Implementing leading practices within the supply chain enables hospitals save on costs, allowing funds to be redirected into patient care. Once there is a critical mass of hospitals using eCommerce, suppliers become able to make changes to their systems enabling even greater efficiencies

Econsultancy & E commerce:When healthcare consultancy is provided on a health portal, Its a hard sell..Coz people log on to internet only coz it's Free. Build of a next generation eCommerce site IS NECESSARY that should combine high levels of functionality along with advanced content management, merchandising and search facilities to meet customer and business needs.

One such website is of William Ramsom & son.

Key Features:

Built on the new eibCommerce platform using Microsoft Commerce Server 2007, the site integrates with key strategic partners: Mercado for dynamic merchandising functionality, EPiServer for advanced content management and Datacash for secure payments. The site utilises advanced search functionality so that customers can shop by need, ingredient, brand and life stage. In addition the “My Cabinet” functionality enables shoppers to easily view their account history and previous purchases.

Ecommerce & E-health Records:How to assure the privacy and Security of information communicated?

  1. How to develop and Deliver effective services?
  2. How to overcome bandwidth limitations?

Research and Strategy should be focussing upon:

  1. Assessing customer perceptions of the risks and benefits of eCommerce in the life sciences
  2. Determining the percent of product orders placed online by product category
  3. Quantifying the customer value of eCommerce purchases by calculating the amount, frequency, and recency of online orders by product category
  4. To Explain the influence of pricing on the online ordering process and customer’s use of online ordering tools to obtain pricing information
  5. Specifying customer preferences for page load times, product locators, and Web site speed during the check-out process
  6. Detailing the types of information customers need to facilitate their online ordering
  7. Identifying the types of assistance customers need to facilitate their use of a Web site’s eCommerce functions
  8. Measuring customer satisfaction with key online ordering tools
  9. Highlighting Web site features that help customize the eCommerce experience
  10. Revealing Web site features that encourage repeat eCommerce business
  11. Evaluating the connection between receptivity to eMarketing and eCommerce activities

Innovation is a key part of any modern healthcare system and this innovation takes place at many levels and across multiple disciplines. Healthcare providers have access to new treatment procedures, drugs and diagnostic equipment. However, there is one area where the healthcare sector has failed to deploy technology and expertise that is widely available and used to improve the efficiency of organisations in the financial services, manufacturing and retail sectors. While most healthcare providers have experimented with ‘ehealth’ they have been slow to build the core IT services and instigate the change management programs that have to be in place before online healthcare services can be deployed.

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