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E-Health's Execution Play

Executive Summary

Combining the benefits of a disciplined hospital system and a leader in e-commerce, the new joint venture between Tenet and Chemdex hopes to create a differentiated offering in e-health. The new company has the ability to integrate the hospitals and suppliers Tenet/BuyPower represents, thus providing the critical mass that e-commerce companies have, until now, lacked. But company officials insist that their real advantage is that they offer a different approach to e-commerce, one that focuses on an end-to-end solution tied to the hospital's ERP system, rather than simply a web site to make ordering and inventory management more efficient.

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Lessons Learned: David Perry, from Chemdex to Anacor

Six years ago, David Perry was one of the rock stars of the Web, the founding CEO of Chemdex-Ventro. He stuck with it as the company unraveled, shutting down most of the businesses he'd built, and merging the remainder into what is now an OTC-traded software company. Now he's applying the lessons he learned to his current company, Anacor Pharmaceuticals, a start-up which has discovered a small handful of now clinical-stage compounds.

Burden of Proof

Early efforts to define the opportunity for e-commerce identified the problem--an inefficient hospital supply chain--but failed to prove that e-commerce is necessarily the answer. Now, Novation and Neoforma, a leading hospital group and its e-commerce partner, have released an industry-wide look at Internet-enabled supply chain economics, done by consultants Arthur Andersen, hoping to prove the value to both providers and suppliers of widely implemented e-commerce.

In E-Health, MedAssets Bulks Up

This latest acquisition by e-health's MedAssets underscores how important established players like GPOs are in promoting an Internet-enabled hospital supply chain. In fact, MedAssets was arguably the first major e-health player to recognize that GPOs are not only vital for the base of customers and suppliers they bring, but can also be attractive sources of revenue.

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