Health Care Giants Learn From the Little Guys

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Pressured by rising costs along with an influx of newly insured patients under the Affordable Care Act, and a growing demand to improve quality, efficiency and patient involvement, medicine is facing massive changes and challenges. At the same time, there are also ample new opportunities.

There is no shortage of good ideas to fix the health care system. Hospitals, state initiatives, innovative startups, practitioner techniques, health policy wonks, and patients themselves are all developing new strategies and methods to improve the system. But lassoing those ideas and getting pioneers and visionaries in the same room to share, expand and hash out the logistics has been a problem in the past. Like just about everything else, though, this too is changing.

Some of the Goliaths of modern medicine, as well as numerous Davids, have been getting together in three cities across the country (Boston, Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon) as part of an initiative called the Better Health Tour. It is sponsored by McKesson Corp., a health care service that distributes pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and provides network infrastructure for the health care industry. The initiative has been underway since January, and the aim of the city-by-city brainstorming sessions is to get the conversation going among competitors and collaborators who want to be part of the change. Nothing is off the table, including ideas like accountable care organizations, the use of video and smartphone technology during patient visits, offering appointments at the patient’s convenience, new ways to share medical data – even the ACA itself.

[SPECIAL REPORT: The Hospital of Tomorrow]

 “We touch almost every part of health care, from doctors, pharmaceuticals, nurses, health plans,” says Matt Zubiller, vice president, strategy and business development for McKesson. “We see the problems of each of these customers on a daily basis.”

As hospitals strive to rein in costs and improve quality, they can form partnerships and share expertise with other, often smaller, organizations. But a huge hospital or health care system is like the proverbial ocean liner: turning it around takes time and patience. Smaller startups and innovators can move more quickly, turning on a dime when necessary. Through shared ideas and partnerships, the big players and smaller companies in health care could well end up on the same team.

Resource By : US News

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