Collaboration key to overcoming hospital workflow challenges

As we've written about previously in FierceHealtIT and its related publications, breaking down silos to force both inter- and intra-institution collaboration is key to overcoming various workflow problems. Earlier this month, for instance, 90 percent of 150 hospital teams participating in a web-based quality improvement collaborative were able to lower their emergency department wait times and curb readmission rates. That collaboration involved experts from the various hospitals participating in monthly webinars to share lessons learned and best practices with one another.

And last fall, payer, provider and vendor representatives speaking at American Health Information Management Association's annual conference in Salt Lake City all agreed that the best way to tackle the switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10--which likely will be delayed until October 2014--was through collaboration with one another. "The three silos can't stay siloed to move [ICD-10] out effectively," Joanne Romasko, director of medical economics for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, said at the meeting.

Collaboration also played a key part in the launch, last December, of the C.S. Mott Children's and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital, part of the University of Michigan's health system, according to Craig Margin, a senior business analyst at U-M Health System, and Kathrynn Thompson, the interim nursing operations administrator for the system. Check out their post in this week's Hospital Impact for more details.

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