The next step in the process of developing a successful behavioral health – primary care integrated partnership, is developing shared solutions for the partnership. This is adapted from “Strategies to Preserve Public-Private Partnership ‘Best Practices’: Keys to Genuine Collaboration” by Greg Schmieg and Bob Climko, MD, Behavioral Health Management May/June 1998. Vol. 18 . No. 3.
DEVELOPING SHARED SOLUTIONS
When behavioral health and primary care organizations collaborate to provide integrated services, it is very important to develop shared solutions for success in the endeavor. For a partnership to meet the needs of all partners, the decision-making must be shared. The decision makers must be open to new ideas and problem solving.
One of the most difficult tasks in a partnership is bringing two disparate organizations together, asking them to compromise for the good of the relationship. All stakeholders traditionally are in favor of creating a shared solution…..as long as they aren’t the ones who are asked to make the change. This step requires taking the time to explore the areas in which the partners can make adjustments versus the areas that require strict adherence to the regulations of the organization.
This step in the partnership requires time to come to an agreement. Negotiations may take some time, but are worth the investment. Everyone must have skin in the game. During the process of negotiating, the ideal end result will develop from compromise among all partners. Patience and understanding are vital at this point and will ultimately result in a shared solution if the partnership is viable. Shared solutions maximize organizational efficiency and capacity. It helps to avoid the “blame game”.
Healthy partnerships result from both give and take on the part of all partners. Compromise is important for the success of the partnership. Partners have much more invested in the successful outcome when there is agreement on the ultimate mission.