The Many Benefits of Partnerships in Healthcare

Does your healthcare company currently have any partnerships with other providers? You should. They’re an incredibly smart decision from a co-marketing point of view, as well as making life easier for your patients. Let me give you a real-life example from my own experience.

I’m currently in the process of getting braces. As such, I have to see an orthodontist and a dentist fairly regularly, and my case was so extreme that I also had to have a consultation with a surgeon to decide if I was going to get jaw surgery. This could have been really complicated and annoying for me, but all three of these specialists work closely with each other, referring patients back and forth. The doctors and office staff are all familiar with each other, making it really easy to arrange appointments and get records sent over. Because they work so closely together, I was never stressed about some sort of miscommunication, and as an added bonus, while the surgeon normally charged for consults, she does them for free for my orthodontist’s patients.

Partnerships let your patients feel like they’re part of one big well-connected network, rather than being shuttled back and forth between various disconnected specialists. Peace of mind is incredibly important in healthcare!

Sometimes a partnership can go even farther, as in the case of multiple doctors sharing a single practice. A variation of this is found in a building just a few blocks from my home, where a number of small businesses banded together to create a wellness center – personal trainers, physical therapy, massage and more all under one roof. An arrangement like this allows them to market themselves together, refer clients back and forth, and allows their clients to go to one convenient location for multiple appointments in one day – wouldn’t you love it if you could work with your personal trainer and then go down the hallway for a massage right after?

The marketing benefits of a partnership should be obvious. Even if you don’t band together for shared promotions, any time one of your partners advertises themselves, they’re reaching out to potential new patients for your practice as well.

Consider two different styles of partnership – one is complementary partnerships like I’ve already discussed, where each partner provides a service that the other does not, but that dovetails perfectly, such as a dentist and an orthodontist or an ophthalmologist and a LASIK surgeon. The other is to partner with those that offer the same services as you, whether it’s sharing an office or being part of a network or just referring back and forth with each other. These partnerships allow you to supplement your maxed-out resources, by referring clients to each other when you’re overbooked or have a sudden emergency come up.

With the end of the year quickly approaching, it’s time to consider your company’s plans for 2016. Now is a great time to reach out to potential partners so you can work together in the new year.

-AJ

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