By partnering with other organizations, groups, divisions, or teams, you can extend the reach and influence of your practice or policy change efforts. Making change is a team sport, and you will likely need various partners to help you achieve your aims. There are many types of partners you can consider. These include other clinicians, healthcare researchers, policy makers, healthcare providers, community organizations and advocacy groups.
Depending on the nature of your innovation, community partnerships can be very valuable and are often critical to improving older patients’ access to preventative and chronic care services.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has explored and promoted community partnerships on its Innovations Exchange and also offers a trove of helpful information, with many links and resources, on how to create partnerships between clinical and community settings in its Chronic Care section.
Health Care Quality and Equity Partnerships
This brief from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation addresses the what, why, and how of partnerships, discussing the benefits to practices, patients and communities and providing guidance on how to set up and maintain effective partnerships.
Nonprofit partnerships of course raise a unique set of challenges, but can be very successful. A helpful article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review explores several partnership examples and offers a discussion of the qualities that result in successful collaborations.
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), non-profit hospitals have been under stricter guidelines to conduct community health needs assessments and adopt strategies to address identified needs. These reports, which are publicly available, may be a good tool for others to use when seeking partnerships between hospitals and community organizations. HealthyAmericans.org developed this issue brief, which includes multiple detailed examples of successful community and hospital partnerships.
General resources on partnerships and a database of actual collaborations among nonprofits are available from the Foundation Center.