Valued Communication with Vendor Relationships

Co-workers laughing and talking during meeting

As a healthcare organization today, our relationship with technology can often feel like a whirlwind romance, a continuous cycle of excitement and exasperation. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the connectivity we forge with our tech vendors. It’s a partnership that demands more than a transaction; it requires trust and collaboration as part of a long-term relationship.

As someone deeply embedded in the operational heart of a major medical center, I've learned invaluable lessons about the potential, and the pitfalls, of vendor relationships. I'm speaking to you as an “in-the-trenches" leader to reflect on how effective communication within our healthcare vendor relationships doesn't just make our lives easier; it allows us to thrive.

Fostering a true partnership

UTMC LogoAs a long-standing symplr customer, we decided to transition our provider credentialing software  from a legacy solution (Visual Cactus) to the latest cloud-based solution. The key to this transition was communication. Although we encountered bumps along the way, as one does with any significant change, through diligent communication and a shared commitment to the greater goal, those hiccups transformed into opportunities for mutual learning and improvement. The transition wasn't just about upgrading technology; it was about upgrading our understanding of collaboration.

Our story with symplr is peppered with moments where we raised concerns and suggestions, and to our delight, the customer implementation team responded with real actions. It was this partnership and a genuine dedication to our success that made the project successful. We found an eager ear, and better yet, the results of our conversations implemented into our solutions.

The importance of this open channel came into sharp focus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our transition to digital from a paperless system not only enhanced efficiency; it became a lifeline that allowed us to operate remotely during the most challenging times.  Because we needed to work from anywhere and access crucial data without the office confines, our work with symplr to co-craft solutions proved to be critical to ensuring providers be supported regardless of physical location.

Roadmap for change: clear objectives

Every healthcare professional knows the value of team-based care. The analogy is just as true for software. My most gratifying experiences during the migration from Visual Cactus to our current provider credentialing software came with the assurance that someone was on the other end, ready and willing to understand and solve our most pressing issues. This twofold approach of fostering an environment where customers feel heard and supported while the products continue to innovate solidifies the relationship between company and customer.

Change is daunting, especially in the highly regulated and critically demanding world of healthcare. But when you’re initiating change with a partner who understands the urgency and risks of healthcare and has your best interests at heart, continuous improvement is not only doable but welcomed. We’ve come a long way, and looking back, it's clear that this journey, with its ups and downs, has been worth every step.

For those contemplating a digital transformation, remember that it’s the human touch within your vendor relationship that often determines the trajectory of your technological evolution. Understand your goals, articulate your needs, and seek a partner willing to walk that path with you. When you find that relationship, nurture it. Schedule regular calls to stay updated, and always, always bring an agenda. Choose partners willing to communicate, willing to innovate, and willing to grow alongside you. The rest, as we've seen, tends to fall into place.Learn more


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