Why is collaboration with “outsiders” so important? Because no single organization can be all things to all people. As health systems, it’s crucial to understand what we’re built to do, what we’re good at — and what we’re not good at.
For example, telehealth and virtual care are now integral parts of healthcare delivery, but not all hospitals can successfully offer these services due to many factors. It’s also becoming more of a consumer expectation, and many patients choose where to receive care based on the level of virtual offerings available.
An emergency department may do a great job providing in-person clinical care. But the physicians and nurses who work there aren’t experts in data science, AI, machine learning, or software engineering. They aren’t the right people to develop a phone app to help patients schedule follow-up care appointments. Your system must bring in a tech company with app design experience to do that.
Partnership and collaboration aren’t without risk. It’s crucial that we choose the right partners. Look for those who have demonstrated their capabilities, align with your vision, understand your business, and are fully committed to your success (not just theirs).
Many organizations still view telehealth as a separate practice line, but at Vituity, it’s simply healthcare. We believe that all our clinical services can potentially use telehealth in some form.
Many of our telehealth services integrate with in-person practice. In southern Illinois, for example, a single critical care team provides both virtual and face-to-face coverage across a four-hospital region. This flexible staffing model allows community hospitals to operate ICUs more efficiently without compromising quality or patient experience.
Some of the more innovative ways we’re delivering virtual care include:
As the healthcare landscape devolves into complexity and fragmentation, healthcare leaders must take a stand for patient-centric care. Is shifting the care paradigm a tall order? Definitely. And in my experience, there are five essential qualities and strategies that are necessary to effect this change:
Your most important job as a leader is to focus relentlessly on patients and their welfare. Taking a long view, you’ll create space for innovation, iteration, and massive change that happens one small shift at a time.