New businesses start everyday and oh boy, the preparation can be enormous. This is especially true when regulatory requirements must be met before we can operate. At the same time that we are in full preparatory mode, there is the question of when should we begin to establish relationships with those with whom we may need strategic alliances.
The answer is immediately and many entrepreneurs make the mistake of forgetting this crucial element,. As an example let’s say you are developing a group living program or an adult day health program with a special focus on individuals with a particular mental illness. Are you going to approach community mental health agencies or mental health advocates and care coordinators once the building Is ready to use? Absolutely not.
You want them to inform you about what specific needs might exist in your community of which you may not have even been aware. What funding adjustments are coming your way and how can your program contribute to their mission.
If you plan on a more sub-acute, rehabilitative focus, have you spoken with those wonderful institutions with “step-down units?” Step Down Units (SDUs) provide an intermediate level of care between the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and the general medical-surgical wards. These units, which are also commonly referred to as intermediate care units and transitional care units, are found in many, but not all, hospitals in developed nations. Community based care partners continue their work when a stay in a hospital is no longer warranted.
Many nursing facilities are now expanding into the field of subacute care, which serves patients needing complex care or rehabilitation. Subacute care is defined as comprehensive inpatient care designed for someone who has an acute illness, injury or exacerbation of a disease process. However, many patients out grow the need for the nursing home experience but could benefit from other supports in the community your program may offer. The question remains, at what point will you ensure these strategic partners are aware of your program or your contemplation?
Strategic relationships must not be developed once a set of doors swing open; a mistake too many smaller care providers make. Get busy establishing them early and actively.
Penny for your thoughts!
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