If you did a keyword search on HealthBlog for words like collaboration or communication you would find that these are frequent topics in my writings about clinical workflow, information technology, health and healthcare. I strongly believe providers of healthcare are missing an opportunity when they fail to utilize the latest tools and technologies for communication and collaboration in clinical practice.
One of our local, well known multispecialty clinics in the Seattle area, Virginia Mason Medical Center, uses the term “Team Medicine” as a marketing slogan. But it is much more than a tagline for marketing. It really defines the way they practice. I think healthcare payment reform will drive all organizations and all clinicians to practice more as teams than as individual practitioners. This will certainly include more than just hospitals and doctors. It will require communication, collaboration and coordination of care between every provider in the community ecosystem of care right down to the homes of individual patients. That is the foundation of so-called “accountable care” and it will require entirely new ways of both providing and paying for care.
Recently, I teamed up with colleagues at Intel Corporation to prepare a new whitepaper that outlines some of the opportunities and best practices in collaborative workflow and coordinated care. One of those colleagues was Dr. Mark Blatt, global medical director for Intel. Like me, Dr. Blatt travels the world to speak at industry events and work with health organizations, hospitals, clinics and government agencies. We often joke that the only time we ever see each other is in some far off land thousands of miles away from home. However, this gives us a unique perspective on clinical practice and how healthcare is organized and managed around the world. We get exposed to a lot of best practices and to organizations that are far ahead of the curve on using contemporary communication and collaboration technologies to improve patient care. In the new whitepaper we discuss the economic imperative for greater collaboration in care and cite some specific examples of progressive organizations that are putting patients first, at the center of care, and breaking new ground in the ways care is coordinated between all stakeholders. We also provide insights on how to overcome resistance to changes in clinical workflow.
Let us know what you think. You can download the whitepaper here.
Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft