The Importance of Collaboration in Your Hospital

November 21, 2013
66 Views

shared service centersI attend a number of conferences throughout the year. The most obvious intents of attending such events for many organizations are sales, marketing, and brand eminence. However, what is often overlooked is the unique opportunity these events present to educate the market on the most cutting-edge solutions and trends within the healthcare industry.

shared service centersI attend a number of conferences throughout the year. The most obvious intents of attending such events for many organizations are sales, marketing, and brand eminence. However, what is often overlooked is the unique opportunity these events present to educate the market on the most cutting-edge solutions and trends within the healthcare industry.

Education is a great promoter of forward progress. Healthcare professionals, regardless of their role, need to be well informed of all of the relevant solutions and technology that can help drive efficiency, improvement, and coordination to reach the strategic goals of their organization.

What is most surprising is that the structure of conferences validates one of the greatest impedances to making some of these goals a reality – they are segregated by business functions. Risk professionals go to ASRHM. Credentialing professionals go to NAMSS. And so forth. I am not suggesting we change the conferences; I am suggesting we change the mindset that a siloed approach to business unit operation is effective.  

Let’s eliminate these misnomers.

“I didn’t know we could do that.”

“I have no idea what system they use.”

“Regulation does not allow me to share with them.”

Professionals who perform different activities within their business, but leverage the same information to drive complementary outcomes, need to coordinate and collaborate. All of the following activities – recruiting, credentialing, privileging, quality, peer review, and enrollment – can be managed on the same platform to eliminate duplication.  

hospital administration

There is no reason that Risk Management, Quality, Legal, and Medical Staff Offices are not sharing information about providers to create a more streamlined and efficient process. This is one small, yet critical, niche of activities within a healthcare organization.

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So why does this problem continually exist? Here are a few reasons why:

      • “Point Solutions” are rampant – Organizations often struggle with the ability to balance multiple efforts due to human capital constraints, competing priorities (ACO, EMR, etc.), or financial restrictions. In turn, organizations select a solution for one small issue without recognizing the impact or effect it may have on other activities. Therefore, this leads to disparate systems, multiple users groups, complex integration, and lack of data visibility
      • First come, first serve – This works great in the restaurant industry. However, it is not as effective in other industries. One of the greatest errors that organizations make is that they pick the first solution that is pitched to them. This is a major risk. It does not allow the appropriate time to vet options or ensure alignment to organizational goals, and often leads to lengthy contracts that produce little results. Instead, organizations must perform detailed assessments both of their organization, and potential solutions, before making a decision 
      • Constant Reprioritization – Change is inevitable and will be even more prevalent in the healthcare industry in the coming years. Although reprioritization is critical to effectively run a business, this prioritization must be done in coordination with capital investments. Often, organizations invest in the next “big thing”, without looking strategically at how an investment in one area may need to coordinate with investments in other areas. For example, organizations are investing tens of millions of dollars implementing EMR solutions without confirming if they can integrate with their technology that currently drives credentialing, privileging, and quality activities  
      • Lack of “good” knowledge – There is so much information available to people in their personal and professional lives that it is often hard to decipher the information to drive the appropriate decision making opportunities

The most cutting edge organizations recognize that the ongoing changes within the healthcare industry continue to add complexity and burden onto everyday activities for professionals throughout their organization. However, in order to truly focus on the areas that are most critical – delivering high quality patient care and staying in business (the financials) – they must have an infrastructure that can adapt and evolve on an ongoing basis. An infrastructure that provides these results is one that optimizes the organizations ability to coordinate and collaborate across business units, which leads to less duplication, greater transparency and visibility of data, and tangible outcomes.

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