Meaningful Use criteria will factor significantly in how healthcare organizations approach technology deployment. However, at the heart of collaborative care, providers must find technology that enables easy access to interdisciplinary data. That is how they will be able to provide the best possible health outcomes for their patients.
Changing the Provider View
As large as the technology challenges posed by collaborative and patient-centered care may be, they pale in comparison to the larger hurdle of altering provider viewpoints. This is due, in part, to the fact that enormous changes are occurring throughout healthcare at a rapid pace. For providers already squeezed for time, it is difficult to embrace any new process or initiative that requires a time-consuming learning curve.
One of the best ways to overcome this obstacle is simply to allow those most affected by any new process or technology to help shape its use. In a word: empowerment. Providers — especially those who remember the demands imposed by the managed care organizations of the past — are unlikely to uphold top-down mandates. Yet many are willing to champion those changes in which they have both a vested interest and a voice.
To make patient-centered and fully collaborative care a reality, the industry as a whole must advocate for both technology and a new way of thinking about patient care. One important way health IT stakeholders can work toward this end is by clearly outlining how innovations can streamline business operations at the same time that they encourage patient engagement, raise patient satisfaction and enhance the quality of patient care.