5 characteristics to look for in potential hospital partners

Collaborative arrangements in healthcare are a major opportunity, but providers must consider a variety of factors to determine if such partnerships are right for them, according to a column in Forbes.

These business arrangements are becoming more popular lately due to several factors, including a more efficient implementation process, a volatile market, increased consolidation within the healthcare landscape and pressure to transition to value-based care, according to the article. But while the process may seem self-explanatory, there are numerous factors to consider before entering a collaborative agreement.

"Forging collaboration on paper is easy. But in order to realize an arrangement's true potential, you must properly strategize ahead of time, then painstakingly focus on execution," write Divya Paliwal, M.D., and Rebecca Ditmer, both of Ernst & Young LLP. "So first, think deeply about why your organization wants to strike an alliance and whether or not your potential partner is the best long-term strategic choice."

To make this assessment, Paliwal and Ditmer say, hospitals should examine potential partners' characteristics, including:

  • Their leverage and standing in the market;

  • Their strengths and drawbacks;

  • Their decision-making skills;

  • How they performed historically, and how they can be expected to perform; and

  • Their promoted mission, culture and vision.

This kind of critical examination cannot end once an alliance is established, according to the authors."Collaborative efforts should seep deep into partnering organizations, and leadership needs to provide continued support," they write. "Collaborating organizations must continuously evaluate ways to reduce redundancies, leverage each other's strengths and cross-pollinate best practices."

Nontraditional partnerships are gaining ground as well, with hospitals increasingly partnering with schools, community health groups and local government institutions. Such partnerships aim to improve population health by building bridges between hospitals and their communities, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- here's the column