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3 Tips for Healthcare Collaboration From an Unlikely Source

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Mon, Sep 21, 2015 @ 07:30 AM



Usually, the best insights about medicine come from the people "in the trenches" of caring for patients. The veteran nurse always has deep wisdom. A surgeon often has key ideas about more than just surgery.

But sometimes ideas for healthcare need to come from outside of medicine.

That's why we're always on the lookout for helpful and innovative concepts arising from unlikely sources. One interview in particular caught our eye recently. It's in Adam Bryant's great "Corner Office" series, in which he interviews leaders across industries. Many are in seemingly mundane fields, but run huge businesses. Often, folks have humble backgrounds and interesting perspectives. Recently, Bryant interviewed Jonathan Tisch, Co-Chairman of the Board of the Loews Corporation.

Tisch had a few things to say that we think are good reminders for anyone looking to improve their practice -- especially of healthcare collaboration.


  • "You really have to know your trade."
    We love this piece of advice, especially when you apply it across the continuum of care. Whether you're an aide, a specialist, or a nurse practitioner, you have a specific "trade" (and role in a patient's care) and the whole team can do its best when you are at your best.
  • "You don’t have to have every answer."
    This, in a nutshell, is what healthcare collaboration is all about. In fact -- you won't  know every answer, so it's important to have systems in place to support you when you need a hand. 
  • "The air gets very thin at the top, and oftentimes you’ve got people telling you what they think you should hear as opposed to telling you the truth."
    This is a fascinating insight and has been confirmed in studies of medical mistakes. The truth is that the default in any high-pressure situation is for everyone to defer to the highest-ranking person in the room. Medical collaboration isn't about rank -- it's about excellent answers and good medicine -- so it's a helpful reminder to make sure this dynamic doesn't get out of hand.


For more of our best stories and ideas about healthcare collaboration, get our Quick Guide for wisdom from across industries and within medicine: 


ClickCare Quick Guide to Medical Collaboration

Tags: healthcare collaboration

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