Apr 06

Shackled to Spreadsheets: The Growing Costs of Healthcare RFPs

Sales Purchasing Decisions Decision Making Sales Process Customers healthcare innovation healthcare IT vendors Process Improvement RFP Vendor Selection RFPs

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.

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Feb 07

Digital platform makes it easier to find the right IT solution

Sales Purchasing Decisions Healthcare Leaders Hospitals Decision Making Partnerships healthcare innovation healthcare IT vendors Innovation Process Improvement Vendor Selection physicians AMA IT solutions RFPs

(as seen in AMA Wire on February 1, 2018)

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.

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Dec 13

Top 5 Mistakes Made During Vendor Selection and RFPs

Healthcare Vendors Purchasing Decisions Healthcare Leaders Decision Making Sales Process Vendor Partners RFP Vendor Selection RFPs

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. 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)?

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Dec 07

Lucro Company Update and 2017 Year in Review

Bruce Brandes Company Update About Lucro Healthcare Vendors General Availability Sales Purchasing Decisions Press Release HIMSS Healthcare Leaders Hospitals Decision Making Partnerships Health 2.0 Health:Further Sales Process Customers Thought Leaders healthcare innovation Lucro vendor community healthcare IT vendors Innovation System-ness Process Improvement Vendor Partners Vendor Selection AMA RFPs

As you likely experience every day, uncertainty and cost pressures in healthcare have created unprecedented challenges and opportunity for the industry.

How do healthcare executives, across a group of hospitals and physician practices, really understand the problems they face, get trusted input to find the right solutions, and ensure broad buy-in and support for accelerated implementation?

In a recent blog post, visionary healthcare innovator (and Lucro advisor), Molly Coye poses this industry challenge and describes Lucro as a new operating system to achieve “system-ness” in healthcare.”

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Nov 29

How Do You Distinguish a Vendor from a Partner?

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

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.

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Nov 21

Why Healthcare Organizations Take So Long to Make Buying Decisions and How We Can Fix It (Part 4 of 4 - Process) (HIStalk)

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

(as seen in HIStalk Reader's Write on November 15, 2017)

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.

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Nov 14

A New Model for Achieving "System-ness": Streamlining across the Modern Health System

About Lucro Purchasing Decisions Healthcare Leaders Hospitals Decision Making healthcare innovation System-ness Process Improvement RFP Vendor Selection RFPs

Processes Inside Today's Health Systems

The heartbeat of any sprawling, large healthcare organization is the pace of its own internal operations. How rapidly and effectively does a health system detect problems and opportunities? Collect intelligence, analyze and communicate patterns, and act?

These are tough questions, in an era when many health systems are in some degree of turmoil as they expand, integrate new partners, and face troubling uncertainty in payment systems. Internal operations are strained, and operational leaders are pushed to stay ahead of these escalating demands.

The larger our organizations grow, and the faster they have to move in the market and in their internal operations, the more important these abilities to sense, decide and act become. This can feel like an enormous contradiction.

How do you achieve “system-ness” across a disparate group of hospitals and physician practices, really understand the problems they face, get smart contributions to finding the right solutions, and ensure broad buy-in and support for accelerated implementation?

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May 25

An Update of the Themes in Lucro Brainpower: The Types of Providers on the Platform and What Projects They Prioritized

Purchasing Decisions Healthcare Leaders Hospitals Best Practices Decision Making Customers healthcare innovation Vendor Selection RFPs

Six weeks ago, we put together a blog on the Lucro Brainpower to show you what types of health systems made up the Lucro community and aggregated all the projects you were working on. A lot can happen in six weeks: that’s three development sprints, 13 Preds games, and 30 new project boards in Lucro. 

What type of providers are part of the Lucro brainpower?

Here is an overview of our acute health system population. In the past six weeks, we’ve also gained a foothold in the post-acute space, national treatment centers, national ambulatory surgical centers, physician associations, and independent practices.

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Apr 27

Decision Making: The Constant Struggle (part 1 of 3)

Purchasing Decisions Healthcare Leaders Hospitals Best Practices Decision Making Vendor Selection RFPs

Decision making can be filed under the category of “things I constantly struggle with.” Even when I’m feeling good about decisions I’ve made, I revisit them constantly. Some people even build whole careers on being courageous decision makers. Since Lucro prides itself on being a platform that helps healthcare organizations make better decisions, faster, I want to share the psychology that influences our product with you.

Luckily, a long time ago, I got a psychology degree, so researching really tickles my learning bone.

Step 1: Include the right [number of] people at the table

The Harvard Business Review did a study that found that, on average, 5.4 individuals were needed to sign off on major purchasing decisions. In the complexity of healthcare, the wisdom and subject areas of stakeholders go far beyond the c-suite.

Here are some things you can do today to increase the effectiveness of gathering consensus:

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Feb 10

Redefining the Sales Battle

Bruce Brandes Healthcare Vendors Sales Purchasing Decisions Sales Process healthcare IT vendors Process Improvement Vendor Partners RFPs

In ancient Roman times, gladiators entered the ring to engage in blood-soaked battle, often to the death. Fast forward to 2017, and while it may not be the Roman Coliseum, fearsome battles between vendors for health systems’ purchasing decisions, as well as battles around vendor choices within these health systems, still take place on a regular basis.

The difference in vendor and provider approaches to selling and purchasing, respectively, isn’t productive for either party, resulting in mutual frustration and inefficiency, as well as solutions rife with compromise. Vendors and providers that are open to changing how they approach purchasing conversations can save themselves the “sales battle”, work more efficiently and make better decisions to push toward innovation.

As you consider how this change can impact your organization, keep three benefits of a more collaborative vendor/provider relationship in mind:

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