Benchmarking Inter-Hospital Alliances against Industry Best Practices

Frances Wildhaber, Pierre Collerette, Daniel Pelletier, Michael Heberer


A semi-quantitative analysis of inter-hospital alliances in Germany, Canada and Switzerland was performed to: (a)Analyse the degree to which current inter-hospital alliances comply with best practices for inter-organisationalbusiness alliances; (b) identify management opportunities to improve the efficacy of hospital alliances.An alliance best practices management benchmark was compiled using literature searches and compared with actualhospital alliances. A series of interviews were conducted at 12 different inter-hospital alliances, monitoring theperceived and factual attributes relating to management processes, structure and governance.All alliances studied were perceived as successful. The healthcare contracts were short and pragmatic andmanagement tended to be informal. There was an absence of rigorous partner selection on the basis of due diligenceand no clear communicated, or monitored, alliance targets. The contracts often lacked conflict resolution,anti-solicitation and liability clauses. Clinical parameters specific to the alliance were not measured but animprovement of patient standard of care was perceived. There was a low awareness of financial parameters.Compatible IT systems / databases between the partners were lacking and institutionalised alliance capability is, inEurope, in the planning phase.Healthcare alliances have a high (perceived) success rate yet opportunities remain to improve the partner selectionassessment, setting and monitoring of alliance targets and centralising alliance capabilities. Transparent performancerewards and conflict resolution mechanisms need establishing upfront.

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Management and Organizational Studies  ISSN 2330-5495 (Print)  ISSN 2330-5509 (Online)

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