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Has an Oncology Practice Gotten More Complex Than a Nuclear-Powered Submarine?

Technology & Systems! Communication! Teamwork! Drug Pricing! Vendors! Strategy! And that’s just a sampling of the factors at play. Yes, we know what oncology practice leaders think: My practice is too complex. Even if we wanted to, there is too much to do. Plus, we don’t even know where to start, not to mention, we don’t have the time or expertise to join an oncology platform.  

The good news is that OneOncology can show you how, and we have a U.S. Navy submarine officer who built and drove a $3 billion nuclear-powered submarine leading the way. After ten years in the Navy and four years at OneOncology, Saunak Shah knows a thing or two about integrating complex systems and bringing teams together to achieve a mission. And he has a passion to share what he’s learned.

More than 130 people living 500 feet underwater in a windowless metal tube working together to achieve our country’s vital missions don’t just happen magically. You need Technology & Systems! Communication! Teamwork! Supplies! Strategy! Sound familiar?   

Saunak sees a lot of correlation between his Navy career and his role as vice president of operations integrating practices onto the OneOncology platform. To be successful at either, you need to understand how all the puzzle pieces fit together. You need a detailed playbook, and you need to call the right play at exactly the right time. But most of all, you need to understand that nothing happens without a team working together. 

“OneOncology brings an integrations team dedicated to white glove service,” Saunak says. “We tailor everything based on what the practice needs, their timeline, and resources. For a practice, it’ll never feel like you’re getting dunked in an ocean. Practices always want to know what works and what doesn’t. We’ve onboarded practices with 100 physicians to those with three. We know how to tailor the steps necessary for a successful integration to any situation and any sized practice.” 

By working side-by-side with practice leaders on 15 integrations, the former Navy officer pinpoints three keys to a successful integration onto the OneOncology platform:

  1. Collaboration between OneOncology teams and the practice: The number one key to success is ongoing collaboration between practice and our integrations team. Collaboration is key to creating the right plan and then executing.
  2. Thoughtfulness around change: The absolute musts to get connected on the platform revolve around accounting and finance given the importance of group drug purchasing, finance management, and data analytics. When those are accomplished at “go-live,” we always can layer in practice priorities and additional OneOncology value levers. Joining the platform doesn’t have to happen all at once.    
  3. Practice leadership engagement:   Partnership between the physician owners, administrative leaders, and OneOncology integrations team is paramount. Transparent stakeholder communication and alignment mitigates the surprises physicians hate.  

Saunak reminds practice leaders that every major change in life is a challenge requiring up front planning and work to succeed. Joining OneOncology is no different.  With an experienced team at the helm, joining the OneOncology platform will yield rewards for practices, care teams and patients for years to come.

“Yes, Community Oncology has gotten complex. Change is hard, and you can’t do it alone,” Saunak says. “So, I see our physician leaders like Admirals of the Navy – set the right mission, get the best team behind you, and get it done!”