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4 Key Takeaways From Leaders on Medical Collaboration & Engagement

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 @ 06:01 AM

rope.jpgAs medical providers, we almost universally want to improve healthcare, increase our own sense of satisfaction, decrease burnout for ourselves and our colleagues, and improve the care we give our patients.

That's all good, but on a busy Thursday, these important goals have a way of taking a back seat to what feels most urgent in our practice.

So a recent web conference advancing these goals piqued our interest as being a great example of healthcare providers taking action.
You may not have had the time to attend the conference, so we put together the the most powerful takeaways, from insights via our friends at Fierce Healthcare as well as the conference content.

4 Takeaways from Thought Leaders on Medical Collaboration and Patient Engagement:

  • Medical collaboration isn't a "bleeding heart" idea -- it's key to our core goals as medical providers.
    The goal of the topics covered in the conference were to "improve patient outcomes and experiences, create stronger feedback loops, and inspire clinician performance." These are quite possibly the most important goals facing medicine today, so we see this work as fundamental. 

  • There are a lot of people crucial to care that aren't traditional medical providers. 
    We talk a lot about the importance of providers across the continuum of care, when it comes to medical teams. None of us is as smart as all of us; and every provider -- nurse, aide, specialist -- plays a key role with different perspectives. David A. Asch, M.D., executive director of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, and Michele E. Heisler, M.D., professor of internal medicine and health behavior at the University of Michigan, both emphasized an additional layer. Peer support and coaching programs can support better care management, since we tend to make better choices when our choices are visible.

  • Medical collaboration teams can change medicine -- but demand changes to how we work.
    Nirav Shah, M.D., senior vice president and chief operating officer for clinical operations at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, outlined something that can seem impossible: the "zero-day stay", in which the patient experience is integrated end-to-end, care is coordinated across the continuum of care, and every aspect is team-based. It paints a picture of cost savings, huge provider satisfaction, better regulatory compliance, and better outcomes. This is achievable. But it demands that we learn to work differently. It means that we need a medical collaboration tool that allows us to work asynchronously, since collaboration can't depend on coordinating schedules or it simply won't work. It demands "care teams that work together effectively and where all members are engaged in the process with patients, said Toyin Ayaji, M.D., chief medical officer of Commonwealth Care Alliance, an integrated delivery network. And, Dr. Ayaji clarified, "A program like this requires trust and confidence between each member of the care team to succeed."

  • Patients must be part of the team.
    Patients need to be a part of the team literally (patients need a way to collaborate with providers on their own care). And they need to be a part of the team in the sense that their full experience and context and "real life" have to be a part of the care plan. With value-based systems in full swing, this inclusion is no longer a "nice to have" -- it's core to what creates good outcomes. 

We applaud the team that put on the "Hardwiring Patient Engagement to Deliver Better Health" conference. We believe they're asking the right questions, and starting to make the path towards solutions. 

We're glad to be on that journey with them. 


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Tags: medical collaboration, good medicine, care coordination, healthcare collaboration

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