Publisher’s Letter July/August 2008

Priorities of the People

Without a doubt, the “Ten People to Watch in Healthcare Contracting” is my favorite issue. This year, we expanded the exploration and asked each person for an important quality they look for in a supplier. Three themes were common in all responses. The Ten People expected a partnership level relationship, a high level of trust and demonstration of integrity.

Partnerships are easy enough to understand, and always seem like a good idea when things are going well. But the idea that in a partnership both parties truly win or lose together is a pretty lofty goal. You have IDNs and hospitals keenly focused on providing world-class care for their community, using mostly for-profit suppliers that many times have to answer to Wall Street.

Partnership is not a level of relationship that happens by chance. Anyone referring to their customers or suppliers as a partner should do so knowing the importance of the classification.

The next quality the Ten People looked for was trust. This wasn’t such a surprise. At any level of interaction or relationship, if you don’t trust someone, then the relationship will not thrive. No matter how much a hospital needs a product – and no matter how great the quality, service and price of a supplier’s product – if that supplier isn’t trusted, they will always get the minimum exposure and access.

The quality that really jumped out is integrity. Isn’t it funny that here in a magazine about contracting and in talking to 10 of the best individuals in our market that a quality as simple as integrity is front and center? Wouldn’t it be great if integrity were a pre-requisite to supplying our healthcare facilities and not just labeled to some suppliers?

All three of these qualities looked for by our Ten People are a recognition that great service, price and products written in the best Terms and Conditions is never enough. Not even close.

Only relationships built on trust and integrity leading to a partnership will see the true best-in-class collaboration between hospital/IDN facilities and suppliers. I hope that is everyone’s goal and intention.

I hope summer is treating you well and thanks for reading this issue of the Journal of Healthcare Contracting.

About the Author

John Pritchard

John Pritchard is the publisher of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting.