Key to the successful collaboration, it appears, is that The Iowa Clinic was able to enter into partnership strategies with its dominant health system from a position of strength.
In the recent past, Brown concedes, the clinic has been able to thrive based on its reputation and its commitment to embracing innovation. It was the first clinic in the state to implement an electronic medical records system, and was the first to develop a physician leadership institute, self-funded, that now helps health systems develop physician leaders. It was also the first, as far as Brown knows, to implement a clinic-wide customer service initiative.
"All those things identify a certain ownership of culture that has allowed us to be successful," he says.
Ownership can mean many things. In this case, its cultural ownership helped Iowa Clinic keep from becoming owned by someone else.