Healthcare is notorious for long, crawling purchase cycles, and no process better demonstrates that than an “RFP.” Used to compare and evaluate vendor products, this approach was once the gold standard for vendor diligence, but it has come at a price, specifically limiting organizations’ ability to innovate and see faster returns on their purchases.
Speed Up Your RFP Process to Deliver a Solution More Rapidly
Most organizations use a Request for Proposal (RFP) as part of a selection process to solicit vendors for products or services. Historically, this questionnaire format helped organizations manage the complexity of the products evaluated, ensure that a vendor can fulfill its promises, and document the diligence necessary to purchase goods. RFPs assemble needs from various departments into requirements, usually compiled in a spreadsheet, and are sent to Vendors to respond. Vendors document their capability to meet those requirements, from which a project owner or selection committee selects the best solution for their need.
Relationships are hard.
You’re sitting across from your handsome Valentine’s date and the oversized stuffed animal bear he got you, and you’ve got all the warm & fuzzies, but deep down inside you’re asking yourself -
“For real though - long term - is this guy right for me?”
The playful dating stuff is still fun, mind you, but you’re ready to settle down. You’re looking for a responsible, grown-ass partner to compliment you. You’re an adult.
I heard a story last week that instantly took me back to my consulting days. Picture this: a fully staffed Command Center. Upwards of 2,000 support tickets logged; over 1,200 closed. Training support onsite for 300 ambulatory locations. A big bang Go Live that was meticulously built and planned for over a year. All 8,000 providers launched into the black hole of a new electronic medical record system.
It’s a big deal and comes with a big price tag. And it should, right? Digitizing the entire medical record for all of an organization's patients is a necessary evil in today’s world that has far reaching tendrils that impact all integrations, medical devices, third party vendors, providers (internally and externally), and most importantly - patients. You need to be confident you partnered with the right vendor long before Go Live.
Topics: About Lucro, Healthcare Vendors, Purchasing Decisions, Healthcare Leaders, Decision Making, Sales Process, Thought Leaders, healthcare innovation, System-ness, Qualifying Questions, Vendor Partners, RFP, Vendor Selection
Health systems and physician practices have access to a host of digital tools that can enhance patient care. However, identifying the health information technology (IT) that best fits their needs can be a long and arduous process. A new digital platform helps streamline complex purchasing decisions across the health care industry.
The AMA recently began a collaboration with Lucro, a health care technology company in Nashville, to improve physician engagement in purchasing decisions. Lucro’s digital platform simplifies the buying process by connecting physicians and health systems with innovative technology vendors. The collaboration comes in the wake of the release of the AMA Physician Innovation Network (PIN), an online community that connects and matches physicians with digital health companies and entrepreneurs.
Topics: Sales, Purchasing Decisions, Healthcare Leaders, Hospitals, Decision Making, Partnerships, healthcare innovation, healthcare IT vendors, Innovation, Process Improvement, Vendor Selection, physicians, AMA, IT solutions, RFPs
I recently read the book Crucial Conversations, when I came across a section that hit me as being very applicable to Lucro. It offered a new way of looking at how decisions are made and what factors are important in determining the best method. Let’s review the methods for decision making, their strengths, and how to apply each to make the best decisions for you.
Methods of Decision Making
The Command method is when decisions are made without involving others. This can also be called authoritative and is, of course, the fastest option because you aren’t delayed by other people offering their opinions or discussing other solutions.
Conferences are popular ways to connect your healthcare organization’s internal intelligence to the external intelligence that conference speakers, exhibitors, and attendees offer. Educational sessions, keynote addresses, pre-conference events, and a myriad of opportunities to meet with conference speakers, exhibitors, and attendees in both structured and informal settings are very powerful ways to gather the information you need to make smart decisions. But healthcare conferences can have thousands, even tens of thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors. How can you efficiently sort through so many potential opportunities? It’s important to not let the sheer size of these events overwhelm your ability to realize the value they present. Speed-dating vendors at healthcare conferences is one potentially useful approach to conquering the conference crowd.
Major healthcare conferences like the upcoming 2018 HIMSS Conference & Exhibition and more specialized forums like the AHIP Consumer Experience & Digital Health Forum held a couple weeks ago in Nashville are great opportunities to learn a lot in a short period of time.
Being able to easily meet and interact with exhibitors, engaging with a variety of 3rd parties about the opportunities, challenges and issues your company is facing, and the ability to quickly obtain key information to help you assess whether a specific vendor's offerings and company culture align with your needs are three main reasons why people attend healthcare conferences.
Topics: Healthcare Vendors, Purchasing Decisions, HIMSS, Healthcare Leaders, Hospitals, Best Practices, Decision Making, Sales Process, Thought Leaders, healthcare innovation, Vendor Partners, Vendor Selection, conferences, Speed-Dating Vendors, IT solutions
The pressure is on. You better make sure your selected vendor is top-notch, has incredible onboarding, works with you to ensure a timely implementation, and doesn’t rob you blind. After going through this process with several marketing automation tools, I’ve experienced first-hand the biggest pitfalls of vendor selection. I’ll let you learn from my mistakes, so you don’t have to make them, too.
1. Assuming you know all the players
Of course you know most of the big players in the market for your project or initiative - but what about those new, innovative companies who have created products better suited for the future, or those partners you already work with who have another product line (that you don’t know about)?
Finding a Partner, Not Just a Vendor
Aligning a vendor with your organization is critical for forming a successful partnership that will ensure your business objectives are met. Depending on your organizational needs, qualifying questions can help you get your list down to better vendor partners earlier, before heading into the full “requirements gathering” phase of your project. This will dramatically reduce the amount of time communicating, evaluating, and showcasing vendors - making your whole process more efficient.
Topics: Healthcare Vendors, Purchasing Decisions, Healthcare Leaders, Decision Making, Sales Process, Thought Leaders, healthcare innovation, healthcare IT vendors, Qualifying Questions, Vendor Partners, RFP, Vendor Selection, IT solutions, RFPs
We have previously discussed the impact of organizational misalignment and lack of trust on slowing the buying cycle in healthcare. Once you decide which projects are worth tackling and you streamline getting the scoop from your trusted network, now you must challenge and simplify the deeply-rooted, legacy workflow to make a decision.
Let’s illustrate two examples of antiquated steps in most every vendor selection process in healthcare and discuss potential solutions.
Topics: Bruce Brandes, HISTalk, Healthcare Vendors, Sales, Purchasing Decisions, Healthcare Leaders, Hospitals, Decision Making, Change Management, Sales Process, healthcare innovation, healthcare IT vendors, Innovation, Process Improvement, Vendor Partners, RFP, Vendor Selection, RFPs