Several years ago I started my professional journey as a senior staff member at a small Regional Hospital in Kentucky. Since then I have held a solid place in my heart for the medical field and have sold many different technical solutions within the field of medicine.
In the 80’s it was all about forms, the 90’s were all about inspections and certifications. Then came the millennium, social media, new regulatory requirements, HIPAA and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Our field was always about patient confidentiality, providing the best care, being sensitive and caring for both the patient and their families.
Today, it’s that and so much more. The requirements for simply keeping your doors open are endless and changing by the hour. The hard fact is; if you are not 100 percent compliant you can face serious fines, non-pay from the insurance companies and the possible reality of closing your doors. That is why technology plays such an important role in the sustainability of an institution and your practice.
Over the years I have sold technology within all levels of medical care. I remember at the hospital level working with the facilities manager; they were the telephone person and whoever was cheapest won. Today IT staffs can number in the double digits. Their needs, wants and requirements are endless. However; it still can come down to the best price overriding the best solution. What is even a bigger shame; many solution providers will provide a “like solution” by cutting their price in order to gain an impressive logo. It all comes down to winning the deal and in the end; you end up paying for their win. During the sale cycle; they are always there. After the sale is closed, it’s not their issue; call support hopefully they can help you. Think hard and accept the fact of how many times you have heard that?
Let’s face it, after all of your hard work, due diligence and the endless meetings will you really admit you “may have” made a mistake. Not likely! And they know that! Now it’s up to you to suffer through your thirty six month contract or worse yet your 60 month contract you signed in order to meet your price point.
Remember the old saying, the road to success is paved with great intentions? The questions in the back of your mind should always be; whose success and whose intentions? Success should always be mutual and the intentions should always be transparent and mutually shared.
It is amazing what happens. Many organizations now trust their practice to third party resources. Unfortunately, some present rosy self-designed “cost saving” solutions; that you pay heavily for on the back side because you are 100 percent dependent to their creations.
Fortunately; not everyone is after a quick buck, they are about building a positive reputation. Trusted partners are hard to find, but they are out there.
Who are they? They are people who listen, ask questions and then listen again to your concerns, needs and requirements. Then they addressed them to your satisfaction. All too often we are told things to placate the question rather than toward providing the correct solution. Smoke and mirrors are still smoke and mirrors.
The bottom line: Find your trusted recommender and provider. Have them earn your trust, and in return trust the fact they are doing the very best for you and your interest. Find that person; use them, refer them and build a true partnership.
Steve Stricker has had a 30 year career in technology. Prior to that, he was an associate administrator for a regional hospital in Kentucky. For the last 25 years he has worked in the IT and Telecommunications field holding senior management, start-up and team lead positions. He has extensive background in the medical field providing solutions ranging from central dictation to highly complex cloud-based integrated solutions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org