The power of partnership: Three lessons from SSM Health + Corro Clinical

During a featured session at the 8th Annual Becker's Health IT + Digital Health + RCM Meeting, Jay Ahlmer, president of the revenue cycle solutions provider Corro Clinical, and Dr. Lenora Adams, system vice president of patient care with St. Louis-based SSM Health, discussed the importance of emotional intelligence and collaboration in business relationships. 

They discussed the three phases of building a relationship with a partner: vendor selection, implementation, and post-implementation. They emphasized the importance of clear communication, setting realistic expectations, and maintaining a focus on the shared goal throughout the partnership. 

Editor's note: Quotes have been edited for length and clarity.

Key takeaways:

1: Emotional intelligence and understanding different perspectives are essential for maintaining motivation and engagement. Mr. Ahlmer emphasized the importance of listening and acknowledging different perspectives to keep people motivated during times of change and uncertainty. This can help sustain partnerships amid change.

Jay Ahlmer: As you reflect on your relationships, it's a good opportunity to ask, 'can we be a little bit more understanding?' You have to be a good listener, make sure people feel heard and acknowledge that they're not coming from the same place that you are.

2: Continuous measurement and accountability are necessary for sustaining improvements. Dr. Adams emphasized the importance of daily measurement, performance boards, and holding teams accountable to ensure the benefits of the partnership are sustained. 

Dr. Adams: In some cases, it was a lot of management daily to get folks back on track, but we did, we got them back on track, and we continued to have those performance boards. We also increased daily huddles with some of our teams who needed the extra support.

3: Open and collaborative communication is crucial for addressing challenges and maintaining a productive relationship. Mr. Ahlmer emphasized the importance of open and collaborative communication when facing challenges or missing targets. Approaching conversations in a productive and collaborative manner can help resolve issues and prevent further breakdown in the relationship.

Jay Ahlmer: If we miss a target, we need to be honest about it. We need to determine if there is something that should have been done differently and if we can resolve it together.

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