10-Step ‘Partnership Development Guideline’
1. Identify suitable partners by researching individuals, organisations higher up the healthcare value chain and lower down the value chain. Set your own internal criteria of what you are looking for.
2. Determine the level of partnership intended to be developed. (Partnerships include joint ventures, strategic alliances, coordination, cooperation or collaboration). Every level has advantages and disadvantages and the partnership may be flexible to change levels at any time.
3. Conduct research ~ Understand the value you can bring to your partner by researching all the available value offerings that your organisation can provide. Research what the needs are for the potential partner organisation.
4. Approach potential partner – for initial exploratory discussions. Establish the appropriate contact person, contact details, location and role of the person. (A ‘high touch’ approach is recommended to build an initial relationship e.g. face-to-face meeting. Phone interaction or video conferencing is a recommended alternative if personal meeting is not possible).
5. Establish clear objectives ~ State your individual expectations and identify common objectives, shared values and outcomes. Find out if the partner’s mission, goals and target market align with your organisation. Evaluate the level of trust between all organisations involved. If your assessment is positive then proceed to next step. If not, assess if mutual trust can be developed. If this is unlikely, go back to step four and research other potential partners.
6. Determine mutual benefit ~ What is the type of benefit ~ economic, productivity, safety, effectiveness or health outcome? Discuss complementary skills, capabilities and resources that are mutually beneficial for the partnership. Evaluate if any training needs are required for both parties during the partnership. Identify what trust behaviours need to be implemented to cement the relationship.
7. Negotiate terms ~ Determine with the partner the roles and responsibilities for partnership coordination and evaluation, product or service development, financial, legal and personnel considerations. Agree on clear measures of success and responsibilities for ongoing communication, implementation, management and evaluation. Consider outcome-based or risk-share agreements, as well as transactional terms.
8. Close the deal ~ Finalise contractual terms, timelines for initiation and sign off. Involve appropriate internal stakeholders for approval and buy-in e.g. legal support, senior executive, etc. Obtain and ensure appropriate leadership support and management resources available to execute the partnership.
9. Communicate and celebrate ~ Disseminate information on the partnership to relevant internal and external stakeholders e.g. local healthcare professionals, community, media, other stakeholders and information or authority gatekeepers.
10. Initiate the partnership with a kick off meeting and/or launch. Set up regular review and evaluation.
I would also like to announce our latest collaboration with Australian Health Insurers, the Customer Retention and Experience White Paper. The Paper will be released soon. If you would like a copy, please visit www.energesse.com/whitepaper by first week of May.
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Dr Avi specialises in insights and strategies to improve patient and customer experience.
Contact: +61 2 8091 0918