If you’ve made the decision to implement an on-site clinic as part of your benefit strategy, congratulations!
The time you spent on research and comparison may have felt endless. But turning your decision into reality is where the difficult work begins, and it starts with identifying the buying committee.
Buying committees simply aren't optional.
This needs to happen fast, because many of the other decisions you’ll face are determined by choosing your on-site clinic vendor. But you also need to get the right people. Getting buy-in from stakeholders is essential; if you don't get alignment here, it may mean going back to the drawing board and re-doing a lot of work.
There’s no way around a buying committee. Your project needs the expertise of a range of people who may have visibility and insight into different areas, from legal to human resources.
And be ready, because the process can take months. Reviewing vendors to make sure they’re the right fit just takes time, and there are simply no shortcuts. You and the vendor the buying committee chooses will begin a long journey together. You have to be certain it’s the right vendor.
This decision-making phase is an early litmus test to help determine what kind of partnership you can expect from a potential vendor. Don’t be afraid to get what you need — vendors are there to help. That’s their job. But you’re going to invest a lot of money, so you want to find a partner, not a skilled sales representative.
3 keys to identifying the best vendor option
1. Narrow it down
The list of potential vendors can feel endless. Instead of exploring every possible option, narrow your list to three vendors that align with your goals and company culture. And then do the deep dive. This can prevent a ton of wasted time researching vendors that aren't the right fit.
2. Take in the experience
When you’ve identified a smaller list of potential vendors, visit one of their sites to experience the clinic environment for yourself — what it looks like, how it feels, and how it operates.
Talk to the providers, care teams, and even some patients to get better idea of how the model works in the real world. You can also request references from the vendor to get a better idea of the vendor/client relationship and to validate the advertised savings.
3. Get all the information
As you move closer to a decision, request that your final vendors give presentations for your leadership team. Examine their solutions for issues specifically related to your population. When you understand a vendor’s proposed approach, you can move confidently into your purchase decision.
It’s critical that you enter a purchase decision with all members of your core decision-making team on board. As a group, throughout the entire discovery process, and even as you narrow down your potential options, you need to ask lots of questions. As much as possible, only move forward as a unified group of collaborators.
Weathering the implementation process
Working with a clinic vendor is an involved process, and the work isn't done once the decision is made. Once your team has begun working with a vendor, it's important to maintain your momentum. Here are a few more tips:
Stay flexible and expect some growing pains. There will be a lot of details to iron out and challenges to face.
Keep up your motivation and focus on the intent of your pursuit: a long-term solution that will improve the well-being of your employees and your organization.
If you’re interested in learning more, we’ve written a FREE ebook, The Strategic Guide To Planning And Launching An On-site Clinic. It goes into more depth and might be useful to you, no matter where you are in the process of implementing an on-site clinic. Be sure download your copy of it now.