ClickCare Café

What Donkeys Know About Healthcare Collaboration

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Wed, Dec 28, 2016 @ 02:17 PM

4f42iqlrjf4-timothy-muza.jpgHarrison is an autistic preteen. He has good days and bad days. And his parents have certainly been on a journey of learning to live with, and be parents to, him.

He has a secret weapon when it comes to autism, though -- and that's his donkeys. Harrison, it turns out, has been riding and racing burros since he was 3 years old. According to his father Hal, Harrison has a special relationship with the donkeys. And that special relationship has something significant to teach us about healthcare collaboration.One of the original inspirations for iClickCare came from the work I did on our Craniofacial Team. As a surgeon of significant facial deformities like cleft palates, I found that it literally took a village to support and "cure" a child with a cleft palate. It took speech therapists, teachers, dentists, surgeons, pediatricians, and more. So I set up a monthly time when the whole team -- across the continuum of care -- would get together to discuss our pending cases. The patients we cared for in the Craniofacial Team thrived in every way. And that feeling of true healthcare collaboration for the whole patient is what guided us to start iClickCare -- we wanted to make it easy and fast for all healthcare providers to have that kind of experience.

Although it makes a lot of common sense, this kind of team approach is rare in medicine. Why? As scientists, it's common for us to focus on the "active ingredient" in healthcare. We prize the surgery. We prize the antibiotic. We prize the super-specialist.

But my experience on the Craniofacial Team demonstrated, again and again, that it is the whole treatment, for the whole patient, that matters - not just the "active ingredient."

The autistic boy's burro racing impacts him as much or more as his regimen of therapy does. The teacher's careful work around speech and reading matters for the cleft palate patient just as his occupational therapist's work does, just as his surgeon's work does.

So what it is that Harrison, the donkeys, and the Craniofacial Team teach us about healthcare collaboration?

They teach us that the whole patient, and each person's contribution to that whole patient matters. They teach us that it's not just the "active ingredient" in the medicine that always makes the difference. 

It's easy to get started with iClickCare for your medical team. Try it here:

Signup for an iClickCare Account


Tags: telemedicine, medical collaboration, healthcare collaboration software

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