Physicians Role in Iraq’s Health Care Supply Management
Aim of this paper is to reveal the best physician's role in medical supplies selection in the healthcare context. Driven primarily by clinical expertise, physicians can directly impacts hospital cost performance and efficiency. The primary purpose of this study is to assess the perceived importance and attention that physicians give to the costs of medical supplies in a public healthcare system, and then provide recommendation to improve their role in supplier selection. This research first designs an engineered method that allows hospitals to best select suppliers. The studies physicians’ role in the supplier selection process. As a study case, physicians working in Iraq's public health sector were asked to estimate the cost of 18 common pharmaceutical products and medical devices. A regression model identified factors associated with a higher rate of accurate estimates provided. A sample of 104 physicians working in Iraq's public health sector responded to the survey. The sample represented a wide range of experience levels, work locations, and clinical specialties. Results revealed that physicians showed limited awareness regarding the costs of medical supplies and the process of supplier selection. On average, physicians accurately estimated only 22 percent of pharmaceutical products and 14 percent of medical devices. Most physicians indicated having limited accessibility to pricing information for the products they prescribe even though they perceived cost to be an essential criterion in the selection of clinically equivalent products. The research concludes with a list of recommendations in line with the proposed sourcing method. Some of the recommendations include education of physicians about supply chain management and cost containment, increasing accessibility to cost information and involving physician leaders in procurement process from the start. These recommendations guarantees cost efficiency for every hospital.