3 tips for successful hospital alliances, mergers

Healthcare mergers and acquisitions--and even non-merger alliances are picking up steam, but to pull off a successful integration, there are a few key steps hospital leaders must follow.

Despite the best intentions, these alliances aren't always successful. To keep the deals on track, hospital leaders should keep several rules in mind, according to Hospitals & Health Networks. Here are three of the suggestions:

Develop a “road map” that plans for possible obstacles and charts detours and alternative paths. Don't be so focused on meeting a single objective that it comes at the expense of other necessary improvements, according to the article.

Give board members an active role and push them to contribute to strategies rather than simply sitting back and digesting the information they’re given.

Make sure efforts to integrate cultures begin immediately. There will be many tasks to deal with once an agreement is reached, but don't forget about the importance of workplace cultures. "Ongoing efforts at cultural integration reinforced by formal tracking of responsibilities and progress should remain a guiding tenet of the post-closing board’s agenda and goals," the article notes. One example of a successful merger of cultures is the 2012 partnership of  two Kentucky healthcare organizations that became known as KentuckyOne Health

KentuckyOne Health addressed concerns about cultural incompatibility right from the start, FierceHealthcare previously reported. The organization surveyed each hospital's employees on which cultural aspects were most important to them, and used the results to develop a new mission statement.