Buckle up - you'll need a lot of patience for this one. I have worked with over 60 different hospitals and health systems, specifically training them to understand how to partner with digital health startups.
Common assumptions and complaints I have heard from hospital executives when it comes to startups are:
"It feels like a mom-and-pop shop."
"They aren't responsive or following up with us on the next steps we chatted about."
"They may agree to this, but do they know how to protect the data we give them?"
"We're unable to work with companies who can't meet our contract terms, and they aren't willing to budge."
"I should trust a more established company rather than risking a small startup to solve the problem I'm having here."
PROVE THEM WRONG. They need to feel that they can trust your company and team can solve the issue they are currently experiencing.
And yes maybe it's your first time working with a hospital, but it's most likely not your first time nurturing a business relationship. Most hospitals don't want to have to teach their partnership process to startups because they already have a million other things on their plate, so do your research to navigate those conversations more smoothly. Hospitals are also going to be more risk-averse, so over prepare for meetings, over-communicate updates, be nimble to their requests, and be flexible to their standard contract terms (unfortunately hospitals have standard language with very little wiggle room).
It's the little things that matter more than you think.