Journal of International Technology and Information Management

Document Type



Horizontal collaborative purchasing (HCP) has often been cited as a way for hospitals to address the challenges of the rising healthcare costs. However, hospitals do not seem to utilize horizontal collaborative purchasing on any large scale, and recent initiatives have had mixed results. Focusing on Dutch hospitals, in this paper we present major impediments for collaborative purchasing, resulting in a first component of our proposed electronic horizontal collaborative purchasing model for hospitals; as a second component it contains a collaborative purchasing typology. A first validation round with hospital purchasing professionals, described separately in Kusters and Versendaal (2011), confirmed four applicable purchasing types and fourteen salient collaborative purchasing impediments. The model is operationalized by including possible information technology (IT) solutions that address the specific fourteen impediments. This model is validated through methodological triangulation of four different validation techniques. We conclude that IT has the potential to support, or overcome, the impediments of HCP. The validation also reveals the need to distinguish between more process-related, as opposed to social-related, obstacles; the immediate potential for IT solutions is greater for the process-related impediments. Ultimately, we conclude that the collaborative e-purchasing model (e-HCP) and implementation roadmap can be used by healthcare consortia, branche organizations, partnering healthcare institutes and multi-site healthcare institutes as a means to help identifying strategies to initiate, manage and evaluate collaborative purchasing practices.