There are many people sounding the alarm over hospital mergers and how these mergers can drive up healthcare cost. The debate breaks down to a healthcare system consolidation to survive or is it the monopolization of a healthcare market. Although interesting and will continue to be debated, the reality of the situation is healthcare systems are gobbling to expand. So as a healthcare supplier, how does this affect your efforts?
Before we get too far, we need to first talk about why hospitals are merging and consolidating. Consolidation is a cost-saving decision. By consolidation of services, a system can share specialized services, spread fixed costs, and deliver coordinated care more effectively. Combine these reasons with the mandate of electronic records and now a healthcare system can absorb the implementation cost and efficiency over an entire system as opposed to a single hospital. So for your healthcare clients this decision is a matter of economic survival.
What does this mean for you as a supplier of healthcare solutions? First and foremost, you cannot stop once you have sold a hospital on your services or solution. You need to use this as your stepping stone to moving throughout the healthcare system. Don’t get me wrong, you need to start at the hospital level just as you have always done. This will allow you to develop your “champion” and hopefully your initial project. But understand if you do not take the additional step of taking this opportunity and turning it into a system wide solution, you open the door to your competition doing so. Ask your client to introduce you to others in their healthcare system, and quickly work your way up to the “healthcare system” decision makers.
The benefits are huge once you have worked your way through the system. If you have a quality solution and an intriguing story, you can turn the local solution into a system-wide solution. If you understand the organization and are patient, you can turn your solution into a “standard package”, which is the holy grail of healthcare sales.