Integration & Co-Branding

As healthcare systems expand through consolidation and affiliation they face challenges of internal integration and standardization. Similarly, large tertiary and teaching centers find themselves increasingly in a consultant relationship with non owned partnering organizations. Gold Standard Management (GSM) is a useful approach to add to the leadership and teaching role these key centering organizations hold, and to add substantial business value.

System Standardization & Integration

As systems evolve they tend to make efforts in standardization in areas like financial reporting procedures, marketing for brand identification, and building a computerized backbone to connect the units. Getting at customer, quality and people issues has proved a somewhat harder task, all of which need a base platform of core values and a common set of management approaches. GSM provides a standardized language and set of tools that can be used off the shelf as a beginning template, and tailored to fit. Organizations using this holistic approach to organization management experience significantly better results in terms of customer satisfaction, quality outcome, favorable economics, and peak morale. Designed for rolling implementations, the task of setting higher standards and achieving standardization becomes more workable.

Add Management Value For Co-Branded Affiliates

The United States hospital industry has a number of centers of excellence and large affiliated networks with international reputations. Several of these have understood the wider role they can play, not only in terms of their own business interests, but in advancing the state of the industry as a whole through cobranding and specialist consulting. Often this wider net of influence begins with requests for specialist guidance from smaller hospitals on case management, or education in advanced clinical techniques.  The desire for guidance from these centers has led to an evolving model where arms-length affiliation between these tertiary centers and smaller organizations has proven mutually beneficial. Cleveland Clinic’s Affiliate Network, Harvard’s Partners HealthCare International, and John Hopkins Medicine International allow for knowledge transfer and mutual market position strengthening through co-branding and substantial educational offerings. In part the increased revenue flow and patient base needed by these industry leaders drives this—the economics story is a healthy background factor for extending these networks. 

But once past the falling-in-love stage the real work has to get done. This is seen in substantial educational efforts to provide advanced clinical and business service knowledge, a major shift from universities and associations as traditional pipelines for new thinking. What's the role for GSM in all this?

Centers of Excellence Offer Management Education

Organization change in hospitals tends to be spotty with installation of best practices done on a piecemeal basis.  Change typically is small and programmatic with hit or miss results, rather than systemic and wide scale—small efforts yielding small results. Examination of health organization problems finds that the root cause of less-than-best performance is attributable to management.  Where there is high staff turnover, or unhappy customers, or quality issues, or out of control costs the failure every time is one of management. Wrote Thomas Teal, Senior Editor of the Harvard Business Review:


“Look closely at any company in trouble, and you'll probably find that the problem is management.  Ask employees about their jobs, and they'll complain about management.  Study large corporations, and you'll discover that the biggest barrier to change, innovation, and new ideas is very often management.  Make an inventory of the things that have stifled your own creativity and held back your own career; summarize the critical factors that have stood in the way of your organization's success; name the individuals chiefly responsible for the missed opportunities and bungled projects you yourself have witnessed.  Managers will top every list…The troublesome fact is that mediocre management is the norm… Most of those lackluster managers we all complain about are doing their best to manage well.”


By clarifying the root problem source, and focusing change efforts on how leaders function and how the organization performs, business objectives become more achievable. The managerial muscularity of leading brands is often such that imitating its practices would benefit partner organizations. (And in the process of helping others up the management hill benefit its own approaches to how things get done).


Better Management Favors Clinical Excellence

Many healthcare affiliates make the connection between their co-brander’s clinical excellence and a related belief that leader organizations must be managing right to create peak performance. The problem for many smaller hospitals is that while they struggle valiantly to apply rapidly expanding medical science, they often lack an adequate approach to management.  For these organizations this can lead to lurching from one business emergency to the next, and from one management program-of-the-month to the next. There is a true market need for better understanding of how to properly manage the wonderful complexity that health care is becoming. Is there a role for your organization to play here? (See Cleveland Clinic's Samson Global Leadership Academy as an example of substantial affiliate management training).


Major players tend to begin their relationship with affiliated hospitals by responding to clinical questions from physicians and others in the field. To some degree the evolution of advanced educational offerings at the tertiary center is a shift away from historically sourced universities and professional societies to these action sites. Once the initial phase of clinical consultations and educational courses is underway there remains the opportunity to get at the root cause of many organizations difficulties--how they manage:

1. Management Development. Inevitably discussions about technical improvements begin to go to questions of leadership, staffing and training, information transfer, workflows, and the problems of making change in a department that operates in ways dissimilar to the rest of the organizational culture. Tertiary centers often are not fully aware that one of their greatest offerings to affiliates is instruction on how they manage things, that behind the starring feature of a clinical innovation stands a supportive management structure.  Some tertiary centers have begun to offer courses in leadership, a beginning approximation of what is needed. GSM leadership training components lend themselves to immediate usage as part of these training courses, extending and refining current content of that already developed in house. Plug-and-play modules that can be tailored to fit.

2. Organization Development and Transformation Guidance. Tools and techniques for making organization and cultural change quickly and in ways that have substantial impact on performance outcomes. Diagnostics of current performance and change readiness, creating key scoreboard metrics, clustering change modules around Quality, Cost, Service and People, driving change with widescale ideation and innovation practices--all lead to substantial business gain and highly value relationships with the tertiary sponsor.

GSM content provides an excellent template to get these offerings up and running, a proven path to implementing major change, altering organization climate, and successfully targeting key business outcomes. Many affiliate organizations are looking for how-to-do it.  A network's strengths don’t just happen, they come from a series of helpful components put together and tailored over time.  Showing others how to do that would have significant value-added for affiliates.

We're Can Help

As an extension of our mission we are interesting in providing full usage of our materials to centers of influence. We believe your extending reach will represent a major uplift to national care quality. We invite you to call to discuss how the use of this intellectual capital can be of benefit.