Data-driven collaboration and teamwork

“The team! The team! The team!” Even as a dyed-in-the-wool Ohio State fan, I can still appreciate these six words spoken by Bo Schembechler, the famed coach of the University of Michigan (which we Buckeye fans like to refer to as “That team up north.”) His great speech is inspiring, even if you’re not a football fan.

Those six words ring true for the success of 21st century health care. Teamwork is essential in adding value to care for patients with complex and chronic diseases. While it’s easy to understand the value of teamwork, it may be challenging for health care organizations that have traditionally existed in running competitive/individualistic organizations. Despite the custom of competition, organizations across the country are managing collaborative health care organizations to facilitate teamwork and sharing.

One factor contributing to their success is shared data.

Population analytics platforms that are source-agnostic and aggregate data from different health care organizations facilitate data sharing. Additionally, they allow access to data from each organization’s contribution. A good example of such data sharing is the Anceta Collaborative. Anceta comprises a select group of member organizations of the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) who share their clinical data using a common data repository. They use the shared data to find evidence of best practices that they can then implement into their individual groups.

Health care analytics platforms make it possible for such health care data sharing collaboratives to be successful. Such platforms use state-of-the art data processing technologies to gather the data from different health care sources, map that data to intelligible concepts based on evidence-based standards, normalize the data so that apples-to-apples comparisons can be made, and leverage technologies like natural language processing to manage unstructured data.

Imagine a longitudinal record of care for a patient with congestive heart failure that provides physiologic, laboratory, procedural, medication, and utilization data all in one view. The data was most likely contributed by multiple health care organizations that use different information technologies. A single unified view of the patient’s data makes it easier for the team to work collaboratively to identify gaps in care and improve outcomes.

“Data-driven collaboration and teamwork!” These are five words that can rally health care professionals to deploy analytics platforms to improve the care of patients and populations, lower costs, and keep health care organizations motivated to collaborate.

And, I have to mention that Bo Schembechler was a Buckeye before he was a Wolverine. In Bo’s early coaching career, he worked as an assistant under the legendary Woody Hayes!

If you’re interested in further information about how data can improve care, especially when applied to the principles of prevention and wellness, read my white paper: “Getting them in to win.”


About the Author:

Carl JohnsonCarl Johnson, MD, EdM, MSc. is a pediatrician trained at Boston Children’s Hospital. He completed a Medical Education fellowship at Harvard Medical School and was a faculty health services researcher at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Before joining Optum Analytics he worked as a physician executive at Cerner Corporation. He is a graduate of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and has held faculty positions at Harvard Medical School, University of California at San Francisco, The Ohio State University, and The Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Dr. Johnson believes that healthcare can be transformed with the help of the right data. When he is not helping to transform healthcare, he can be found playing tennis, cooking, perfecting his French, taking photographs, reading historical fiction, listening to music, and watching Ohio State Football.

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