The Healthcare Hub

GHX provides a wide range of perspectives on how greater collaboration and visibility across the supply chain can improve both clinical and financial performance in healthcare.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

COLLABORATION: Is it just a nice idea, or can it really deliver?

Those who have visited The Healthcare Hub before know I spend a fair amount of time talking about collaboration. I’m not alone in my interest in the topic. It’s showing up on agendas of industry conferences and on the research agendas of major analyst firms. The problem is, while most folks say they want to collaborate more, whether with others in their own organizations, or with their trading partners, few really know how to develop a truly collaborative relationship, and more importantly measure the results. Did it really make a difference, for both parties, and is it sustainable and repeatable?

I just finished reading a white paper on supply chain collaboration in healthcare, which provides some real life examples of successful collaborations(with results) and some guidelines on how to identify and engage with potential partners.

One thing the paper underscored is the real value of collaboration: rather than shifting costs from one part of the healthcare industry to another (something we have been doing for years), true collaboration is designed to deliver value for all involved. And when it comes to lowering healthcare costs, it’s really the only option we have left.

I’d love to hear what you think about some of the examples in the paper, or better yet, please share your experiences – good or bad- with trying to create more collaboration in healthcare. Can it really deliver the results healthcare needs, or is it just a nice idea?

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Karen Conway

Vice President, Healthcare Value