- Examine what your essential goals are and how you can benefit from the resources and expertise of a partner
- A dialogue with your peers to learn what worked and did not work for them. What kind of dialogue did they have with vendors and what tender model did they use?
- A dialogue between care provider and vendor to uncover the win-win for both parties
Using dialogue as a starting point has a number of benefits. It provides a forum for identifying improvement opportunities and sharpening focus. In practice, however, we encounter many care providers who hesitate to engage in dialogue because of the obstacles they see – establishing trust, being able to speak openly and reducing bargaining power are just a few.
Understanding this hesitancy, we would like to encourage care providers to invest some time in determining what the best solution for your problem is. Examine your situation and goals closely. Challenge yourself to think how your business could benefit from the expertise and knowledge of a potential partner. Think of e-health or workflow advice.
For example, Tays Heart Hospital in Finland teamed up with Philips when it was looking to offer its patients a seamless and personalized care pathway.
“By partnering with Philips, we will be able to engage in a close and deep collaboration related to the most crucial areas of the Tays Heart Hospital,” said Kari Niemelä, Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director at Tays Heart Hospital. “By concentrating on a single equipment and service supplier, this partnership will allow us to get the best possible benefits from the related medical technologies and meet our operational and strategic objectives.”
Other ways for care providers to investigate options for a longer term strategic partnership with industry is to start up conversations with regional peers on their experiences with similar partnerships. These discussions can provide valuable insights into the potential benefits and pitfalls that can be expected.
Finally, partnerships obviously need to be rewarding for all parties involved. Applying time and patience are essential as both parties work towards a relationship that best matches their mission and goals. Dialogue is the cornerstone of success in strategic partnerships. By focusing on the outcome that both parties want to achieve, strategic partnerships can unlock new potential for care providers.