CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2013 - (Page 20)

Communicating Across Disciplines Collaborative Care Teams and the Benefits of Communicating Across Disciplines I t’s becoming more well-known that today’s health care is moving toward a more collaborative model designed to increase communication and accountability in patient care. Most health care professionals agree that our health care system is too fragmented and we need to break down the silos that have existed for years. Some research even shows that lack of communication and collaboration among health care professionals may be responsible for as much as 70 percent of the reported adverse events.1 While we’ve talked about the need for better collaboration for years, today’s Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Programs and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are helping to make this collaboration a reality. Additionally, new advances in technology that allow quicker and easier communication and electronic transfer of patient information are also helping to create this collaborative model. DEFINITION OF COLLABORATION Collaboration is one of the biggest buzzwords today – not only in health care, but in all industries. It is used to describe a variety of cooperative activities either simple or complex, such as group projects or large projects with multiple goals. However, the term is often overused, losing its sense of purpose. So, what does collaboration really mean? Definitions of collaboration include: “co-laboring; working jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor; people working with other people; cooperating with an agency or instrumentality with which one is not immediately connected.” These definitions define collaboration in such general terms that the word is nearly meaningless. 20 CMSA TODAY The Oxford English Dictionary defines collaboration in a more distinct way, as a “recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together in an intersection of common goals — for example, an intellectual endeavor that is creative in nature — by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus.”2 Notice that this definition adds the concept of working toward common goals while adding three human behaviors: sharing knowledge, learning, and building consensus. According to Michael Sampson, a Collaboration Strategist, looking at collaboration in the context of common goals defines it more as a “process” — working for a stated goal, in a particular way, with other people. This then allows collaboration to be differentiated into “types or levels of collaboration,” including: 1. Delegated Collaboration – No input into defining the outcome, joint responsibility for deciding how to do it, and jointly working with other people. The task is complex, so it requires specialist skills or judgment, as well as the sharing of knowledge, learning, and consensus building. 2. Creative Collaboration – A defined group has input into defining the outcome. They have joint responsibility for deciding how it is done, and they must work together to contribute Issue 4 • 2013 • DIGITAL BY PAT STRICKER, RN, MEd their respective expertise and knowledge to achieve the outcome. It requires specialist skills or judgment, as well as the sharing of knowledge, learning, and consensus building.3 How does this differ from the case manager’s care coordination role? The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality identified over 40 definitions of care coordination, thus developing this working definition by combining the common elements: “Care coordination is the deliberate organization of patient care activities between two or more participants (including the patient) involved in a patient’s care to facilitate the appropriate delivery of health care services. Organizing care involves the marshaling of personnel and other resources needed to carry out all required patient care activities, and is often managed by the exchange of information among participants responsible for different aspects of care.”4 Some health care experts classify coordination as a subset of collaboration, while others describe collaboration as a possible method for coordinating care. Either way, the care manager will continue to coordinate the care as needed, since the concepts of collaboration and coordination are so closely related. However the process for doing so will change in the collaborative

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2013

2012-2014 President's Letter
Message From CMSA's President-Elect
2011-2012 President's Letter
Association Department
Ready to Launch: An Update on Career and Knowledge Pathways
Collaborative Care Team and the Benefits of Communicating Across Disciplines
View From Capitol Hill
Case Management and the Law
Ethics Casebook
Mentoring Matters
CMSA Corporate Partners
Index of Advertisers

CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2013