Healthcare leaders' top advice for hospitals considering clinical partnerships

Kelly Gooch - Print  | 

Becker's asked healthcare leaders to share advice for hospitals considering clinical partnerships.

Here are their responses, presented alphabetically. 

Editor's Note: Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Regino Gonzalez-Peralta, MD (Orlando, Fla.) 
Director of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and liver transplant at AdventHealth for Children

In 2017, AdventHealth for Children, AdventHealth Transplant Institute and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC launched a partnership to make lifesaving pediatric liver transplants available throughout north and central Florida. Prior to the partnership, the only active pediatric liver transplant program in Florida was in south Florida.

The program has been exceedingly successful. My advice to other healthcare systems considering developing a clinical partnership are to: keep the patient at front and center-determine the need and develop the program around it; ascertain full commitment from key stakeholders of programmatic development; ensure all organizations provide all necessary resources — from financial to professional to operational assets; maintain open and transparent communication among stakeholders; and create 'mock' scenarios to gauge program readiness before its launch.

Prub (P.K) Khurana
C
hief strategy officer of Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California

Providence St. Joseph Health constantly evaluates partnership opportunities. In fact, we’re called to work with others to find new ways to create healthier communities and serve more people. Our goal is to improve the services and expertise available to the people we serve. In considering partnerships, we look at areas within our own organization that we can enhance by connecting with organizations that share our values. For example, many of our emergency departments are crowded and wait times can be long as the most serious cases take priority. Many of those waiting do not have life-threatening conditions and can be treated more appropriately in other settings. Three years ago, we partnered with Exer Urgent Care, and together we now jointly operate 10 high-acuity urgent care centers across the market. Exer is staffed by emergency-trained physicians, meeting our expectation for quality -- and their service model rivals Amazon. This partnership has been successful and we plan to add 25 new locations across Southern California providing access to affordable, quality care close to home.

Michael LeBeau, MD
President of Sanford Health (Bismarck, N.D.)

We are a fully integrated health system that employs more than 350 physicians and advanced practice providers in the Sanford Bismarck region. We firmly believe the integrated system is the best model to provide great care and a great patient experience.

Charlette Stallworth
Vice president of strategic partnerships at Stanford Children's Health (Palo Alto, Calif.)

Understanding a potential partner's corporate culture is a key consideration for clinical partnerships — not just mergers and acquisitions. There are dozens of healthcare industry metrics that provide insight into a prospective partner's clinical performance and quality. Additionally, national rankings can provide basis for comparison among prospects, but the only way to determine culture is to spend time with leaders and staff.  I want to cultivate an understanding of any potential clinical partner's internal decision-making process, style of communication and how they empower staff. The cultures of partnering organizations do not necessarily have to be the same, but rather must be understood and respected in order to maximize the benefits of partnership. 

Warner Thomas
President and CEO of Ochsner Health System (New Orleans)

It's important to collaborate with the right partners — ones who are culturally compatible, who share common goals around commitment to patients, quality and value for the future and who you can trust. These are critical components to forging a successful partnership. 

 

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