Healthcare mergers and acquisitions have evolved over the past decade as organizations expand beyond region-specific boundaries and seek to provide a continuum of care.
As the landscape continues to change, IT integration is no longer a final consideration for a healthcare M&A after business and clinical priorities, but a critical function. As organizations consider mergers and acquisitions to expand patient care capabilities, ranging from acute care to post-acute and even long-term care offerings, IT integration is a critical component to making it all work.
Although mergers and acquisitions can be a difficult process, organizations don’t have to go through them alone. By involving a partner early on and having a solid framework in place, organizations can ensure a smoother onboarding process, especially when it comes to cybersecurity. Consider these four questions to guide you in finding the right partner for your healthcare M&A.
1. Which parts of the M&A process should organizations focus more on?
Organizations should spend more time with their employees, making sure everyone understands why a merger and acquisition is happening and what the goals are.
In particular, more time should be spent on up-to-date training and career progression incentives rather than dusting off old documentation and procedures.
A team can benefit from new additions, especially when they are able to practice right away. How can you ensure that all staff are familiar with existing and upcoming technologies? How can you incorporate M&A-specific training programs? This is an opportunity to recognize different abilities and adapt accordingly when acquiring new technology and talent.
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2. How can a partnership help an M&A process?
Involving an IT partner with specific knowledge and experience in healthcare mergers and acquisitions can help organizations meet the demand for scale, especially with larger mergers and acquisitions. An expert partner, for example, understands that thousands of endpoints are involved in clinical operations. These parameters are not limited to a single workstation, but include any device facing the patient. A partner can help an organization identify all of these endpoints and versions of connected operating systems, and identify any vulnerabilities that could be breached, as part of a migration plan and security assessment. the security infrastructure.
In our experience, for example, we have industry-specific runbooks and playbooks that showcase CDW’s deep industry knowledge. When a healthcare system contacts us to let us know of an upcoming acquisition, we can help with due diligence and scaling on their behalf.
EXPLORE: Why planning is critical to managing health IT integration during a merger and acquisition.
Because of CDW’s expertise, we pay attention to healthcare-specific aspects such as revenue cycle and clinical workflows. We know how to work with data conversions and electronic medical record systems, how to manage identity migration, and how to minimize impacts on business operations and clinical experiences. As a partner, we take the time to understand the culture of a healthcare system and ensure that we remove any operational burden.
3. When should a healthcare facility involve an IT partner?
Ideally, a partner should be involved in the M&A process as early as possible, before a public merger announcement. But coming right after an announcement can also work. In our experience, we have been involved in the pre-planning phase alongside health systems.
A partner who is engaged early on understands business and IT integration goals early on, has an easier time helping with integration, and can do much of the heavy lifting. A partner that is in place before day zero can perform unbiased assessments sooner and ensure that security is central.
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4. What’s the best security tip?
Having a plan is essential. You may not always stick to it, but having this framework in place is key to having a foundation to work from when surprises inevitably arise.
For early acquisitions, keep an open mind about each organization’s security capabilities. Perhaps the acquired organization has better security processes, solutions, and partnerships that should be adopted across the board.
DISCOVER: Advice to CIOs on navigating healthcare mergers and acquisitions.
The lesson we’ve learned over and over again in healthcare M&A is that organizations won’t always know everything they’re going to inherit, especially when it comes to security. There will be surprises that show up on day one and maybe even six months into an integration. Have a zero-day plan for the initial assessment of security posture and capabilities, including the assessment of any managed services or security operations centers.
Anticipating future mergers and acquisitions
Mergers and acquisitions in healthcare aren’t going away, especially as traditional vendors compete with big tech companies looking to expand. And in the face of staffing shortages and consumerization trends, clinical automation and data analytics will be the focus of continued investment.
As healthcare organizations increasingly rely on the cloud, this will make the M&A process easier, as data is accessed more efficiently when not locked in a central location. Implementation time decreases because less hardware is spent purchasing on-site hardware to standardize. Capital expenditures will decline as departments budget more for operating expenditures that are easier and more predictable to manage. There will be less infrastructure, fewer contracts and much less red tape.
This article is part of HealthTechit is Monitor blog series. Please join the discussion on Twitter using #WellnessIT.