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The name of the healthcare game these days is merger and acquisitions. As health systems continue to grow and absorb more and more once-disparate entities, working to merge them to create a single brand and single voice becomes harder and harder. Combining EMR systems, patient portals, scheduling procedures, and implementing a new referral management program can be daunting and take time to do right, but there is only one place from where to start.

Mergers and acquisitions in healthcare, we could use a road signFirst and foremost, day one, stop the presses until this is done: a comprehensive Patient Access and Engagement Strategy needs to be created. How does your health system allow for patients to have easy access to needed healthcare services? Is there a clear path that helps patients navigate your vast organization?

Once that’s done, every new decision can be made by keeping in line with that access and engagement strategy. What best serves the patient? What helps patients become more involved in their own care? Does this help the patient more easily access better care?

Merging with new organizations can be a lot like creating a mixed family. Each side has its own way of doing things, its own habits, and its own traditions. But by incorporating the best elements and processes from each, you can create something bigger and better than before. In healthcare, that’s a win for patients.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

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