Cerner: 5 tips for successful hospital-vendor IT partnerships

For healthcare organizations, achieving successful partnerships with health IT companies can be challenging, Dick Flanigan, president of health services and client relationships support at Cerner, wrote in a company blog post.

In order to reach strategic alignment, both parties must have similar goals and principles.

"Organizations that want to work together need to move beyond a transactional environment into something that aligns with long-term value creation for both parties," he wrote.

Here are Mr. Flanigan's five principles to help healthcare organizations achieve alignment with their IT vendors.

1. Both parties should see the healthcare industry advancing in similar ways — for example, toward either a value-based or fee-for-service payment model.

"Each organization might have a different take on how they see those trends playing out, but they must be fundamentally aligned and in agreement on the overall path forward for the industry. It comes down to sharing a vision," wrote Mr. Flanigan.

2. All involved parties should value health IT as a transformative force in healthcare and view it as a core strategy.

3. Both parties must remain committed to their pre-determined business goals, such as investing in or carrying out the technology product in question. 

4. Members of the two organizations must like each other, Mr. Flanigan noted.

"If there's a seed of dislike or distrust between teams, that's only going to make the work harder — if not impossible," he wrote.

5. The two organizations should balance their successes and failures with one another.

"The key is making sure that the proportions of each are at scale for both parties. Success means that both organizations win equally; failure means that the pain is shared equally," wrote Mr. Flanigan.

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