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.