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  • Susan Snedaker

Value-Based Solutions, Not Shiny Objects

As a healthcare IT leader, it's important to strive for value creation at every turn. That means hiring the best and the brightest, providing them an environment that fosters commitment, achievement, accuracy, collaboration and innovation. It means listening to our customers and really understanding their needs. It means being responsive and collaborative to the best of our ability. It means saying No when that's really the best answer (though "Yes and...." often delivers a better result). It means leveraging existing assets fully. It means making sure projects are well-defined, well-planned and well-executed. It means looking for opportunities to reduce costs and driving a hard bargain. It also means developing effective business partnerships with key vendors.

Vendors should be trusted partners in our efforts to deliver healthcare IT value. Some vendor reps forget that and launch into sales mode, simply pushing the latest product onto the customer, regardless of need. That's the face of vendors that is increasingly problematic in today's healthcare arena. Vendors need to better understand how to deliver value-based solutions, not the latest shiny object.

The future requires successful collaboration between vendors who are reaching into new areas to find ways to help us deliver value. That means vendors who are as committed to patient safety and patient care as we are. It means vendors who are honest and transparent in their sales process, selling or recommending only what appears to be aligned with the organization (now and future), not what will generate the largest quarterly bonus. It means vendors representatives who really strive to listen and understand the business needs. It means vendors who consult and collaborate on solutions before the sale to ensure the solution is right. It means vendors whose companies are researching ways to make healthcare IT more secure, more seamless, more user-friendly.

Sometimes, we forget that we're all working toward the same ultimate goal - the safety and care of our patients. So, let's evolve and elevate these business relations. Vendors and their representatives that understand the new environment in which we're working will become trusted business partners. That's a competitive advantage that's hard to beat.

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