When 1 + 1 = 3, Adding Value Through Collaboration

The author of this article asks himself a question: “What’s the problem with healthcare?”, and provides an answer.  “Many people and organizations in healthcare are isolated and disconnected, solving problems in pockets and not connecting with others who are working on solving the same problems.  I believe there’s a huge opportunity to target nearly every type of problem with collaborative efforts.”  I like this quote because it goes directly back to something we’ve seen here at Cohealo, every hospital is evaluating the same new technology – but through their capital expense request process in which they evaluate and justify the expense of this new technology, the information is kept in a silo for that hospital.  Most times it’s not being shared with other facilities within the same health system.

Why can’t we perform evaluations on new technology at a hospital level and share immediately with the other like clinicians in the health system?  Why not perform that same evaluation and provide the feedback to every clinician in the nation immediately with the findings?  The amount of time and money wasted in these evaluations is staggering, and by keeping these processes separate we create only one true winner, the medical device manufacturer.  If all health systems performed these evaluations in conjunction with one another we could reduce time and financial waste as well as aggregate all knowledge to make every buyer smarter throughout their process.

“Each of these findings (research by McKinsey Global Institute, MIT Center for Digital Business, Capgemini, Harvard Business Review) covers slightly different angles, but they all convey one key point: most businesses are social, and technologies that help people collaborate more effectively provide opportunities to improve the way people discover, learn and solve problems.”  I agree, collaboration may ultimately not only save you time and money, it may also allow your employees time to discover and learn new methods to solving old problems.  This is a common refrain from the hospital leadership: “We know we have a problem, we still don’t know how to solve it.”

Collaboration will allow us to find new ways of providing care, will help us solve operational and clinical challenges, gather feedback to improve services and competitive advantages.  A potential productivity gain of 20-25% for those organizations that fully implement social technologies is one of many statistics provided in the research.  I believe that a technology that can generate collaboration between hospitals, between health systems and with patients can add much more than just time and money savings.  It can also provide feedback on devices from clinicians and patients back to manufacturers to ensure optimal R & D investment, delivery of care, and better outcomes for the whole value chain.  We are building Cohealo to be more than just a logistics solution for sharing assets; it will become the platform for patients and clinicians linking directly to vendors to create better technology for all of us.

I hope to hear your thoughts on collaboration in healthcare, whether through technology or not, as every idea may be the next solution.

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