The question sounds cliché. Loosely defined, “team” is a group of people who work together, generally toward shared outcomes or goals. Like many, I grew up playing sports during childhood, we rode bikes without helmets, fended for ourselves, got ourselves to little league games and found out when we got into trouble our parents were generally on the side of the school or the coach. Those days are sadly over but the experiences taught me a couple of key life lessons:
I would never be a professional sports athlete
The importance of team
Regardless of the industry, company or sport, the most successful teams have some characteristics in common in terms of accommodating the needs of individuals:
They demand adherence to the core values of the team. Outside these core values, they allow freedom of individual expression. Core values are not modified or bent for the individual.
They recognize that not every individual’s every need can be met, but they work to accommodate the most important needs of each individual.
They react positively to the idea in action that each individual first takes care of their own responsibilities, and then assists others in their needs.
The practice and delivery of medicine is fundamentally changing and those changes are challenging the teams we form to provide healthcare. Medicine is becoming increasingly consolidated, regulated and subject to highly algorithmic approaches for diagnosis and therapy. Electronic medical records that facilitate networks of care are also limiting practioners freedom of thought with pre-defined care plans and order sets that many think are contributing to a decline in the patient-physician relationship. In time, we will find a balance between computer interactions and human interactions but this is a still a steep learning curve for many.
And in some cases, business processes interfere with clinical processes, cost savings vs. quality of care and outcomes-based payment methods vs. fee-for-service are creating tensions throughout the system. All this in the midst of government sequestrations, declining reimbursements, increasing managed care networks and lose of autonomy for practioners.
Strong teams composed of physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, administrators, regulators and payors will be required to be successful for the benefit of the team rather than individual needs.
Corista sees its role in the healthcare spectrum, to provide cost-effective solutions for digital pathology. They understand the importance of team and are building a great team with applications designed to meet the needs of the new reality in pathology. Their approach is a key reason why I have decided to become a part of their team and continue to help advance digital pathology technologies.
To read the full press release of Dr. Keith Kaplan joining the Corista team, click here.