A handful of health care systems are partnering with large corporations to better tailor care for their employees. In our feature on the subject, we discuss how hospitals and health systems are directly contracting with large employers to serve consumers in the same vein as Uber and Amazon.

Craig Enge, chief operating and administration officer of the Swedish-Providence Health Alliance, offers hospital leaders a few things he learned during the first year of working directly with aerospace giant Boeing to provide better care to its employees in Seattle:

ENGAGE EARLY: “Listen to what each group wants and needs from the network and what they can bring to it. Quite often, the value propositions of these organizations or the perception is not aligned right away, so you need time to be able to sit at a table together, listen to each other and come to common solutions. Additionally, when you start talking about direct-to-employer networks, it’s very different from commercial or Medicare in that you are responsible for network adequacy. You need to identify who those people are in your network, and shaving access to somebody from a health plan that has done this before is extremely helpful.”

DATA NEEDS: “I would start the data process as soon as possible and look for security clearances, look for the software you’re going to use, and proactively start hiring data managers and analysts.”

STAFF UP: “Some organizations are trying to do this off the side of their desk. You get strategy officers, physician leaders, CEOs, and they’re trying to do this in their spare time along with their real jobs. To make these things successful, you need people who are dedicated to this work and who wake up every day thinking about this and driving it forward.”

BE PATIENT: “Population health management really is a long-term game and nobody expected huge gains in the first year. That being said, I think we’re making really good progress in terms of setting up the right processes, getting infrastructure in place, and engaging both employees and our care delivery system. That’s really the foundation for making this work over the long term.”

START SOON: “The sale cycle around this is very, very long for companies to get comfortable, to pull together networks, for the benefit timing to work, so if you miss the window, you’re waiting another year. If unions are involved, that adds complexity.”

JUST GO: “Some are waiting for the exact right customer to come along, and for every piece of the puzzle to be in place, and I just don’t ever see that happening. You just have to have a view of where you want to go and maybe what it takes to get there, and you’re probably going to be completely wrong.”