ClickCare Café

Who is Allowed to be a Healthcare Leader & Do Medical Collaboration?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Jan 04, 2018 @ 06:01 AM

brooke-lark-194253.jpgThis week, we’re looking at what’s most needed in healthcare in 2018. Our take?  Leadership.  There are certainly a lot of needs in medicine, but we believe that without better leadership, none of our other aspirations can be made real.

“Leadership” is something that’s easy to talk about but hard to pin down… and even rarer to practice. We are honored to work with extraordinary leaders every day at ClickCare. And we’re always looking for ways to support leaders in medicine. So we were thrilled to come across a series in the New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst called Lessons in Leadership. Two pieces stood out to us as especially important, and we are looking at them in a two-article series this week. (You can find Part I here.)

In Building a New Kind of Leader for an Era of Cooperation, Rebecca Graham explores an consortium that endeavors to facilitate collaboration between the academic and the clinical. “UCLPartners, in London, England, is one of the largest academic health science partnerships in the world, encompassing more than 40 health care providers and universities that together serve a population of 6 million people in London and surrounding areas.”

The article goes on to explore the unique competencies that excellent leaders need when collaboration and team-based coordination is central to their work. They found that in cross-disciplinary collaboration, far more than just technical skill or expertise was needed. This kind of project, “as a collaborative partnership of equals, needs leaders to leverage change in the system through influence, without the hierarchical positioning; leaders must appeal to a greater concept and idea of achievement through a collective strength across the partnership.”

We certainly agree that 2018’s teams and 2018’s medicine need a different kind of leader than a healthcare provider who acts as a solo technician. Our addition to this exploration, however, would be to question who we see as leaders.

Who is allowed to be a leader, in medicine? And with whom is that leader allowed to work and collaborate?

Indeed, even in UCLPartners’ project meant to cultivate collaboration, I believe that there are some blind spots. In defining the two parties needed to collaborate as “clinicians” and “academics”, and endeavoring to get them under one roof as a requisite for collaboration, I believe we’re defining collaboration too narrowly. As you know, we believe that we need tools to help us collaborate across silos, national boundaries, state boundaries, and institutional boundaries. 

Further, their focus is on the leaders in the “C Suite” (for instance, their CMO.) Our experience has shown that the most influential leaders in medicine come from the places you might least expect it. It’s the orderly, the aide, the social worker, the teacher from the school down the street. Leaders in medicine come from across the continuum of care, offering crucia and unique perspectives  if we allow it and if we value them.

We believe that in today’s medicine, it’s not a sufficient solution to get the “C Suite” in the same room with their counterparts in other institutions. Rather, each and every person who cares for a patient should have the tools to collaborate with the people — in any institution and at any level — on behalf of the patient.

And the good news is that we can start that work, today, in whatever office, hospital, or home we find ourselves.


If you’re ready to start leading, in your setting, you can download iClickCare for free:

Try the iClickCare 14-day evaluation

Tags: medical collaboration, care coordination, healthcare collaboration

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