Word from the C-suite: 'Team-based collaboration is essential to the future of our functioning healthcare system'

For one C-suite executive, the intersection of technology and medicine will become a crucial part of the healthcare industry in the next few years, if not sooner. To use that technology effectively, medical professionals from all disciplines must learn to work together for the benefit of the patient.

Larry Chu, MD, is the executive director of Medicine X, an initiative exploring how emerging technologies will advance the practice of medicine, improve health and empower patients to become active participants in their own care. Dr. Chu said through his work as a professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at Stanford (Calif.) University, he witnessed inefficiencies in students' ability to interact and problem-solve together. He said the issue is especially problematic as an individual's health is an amalgamation of various provider recommendations. If each medical professional isn't aware of the recommendations other medical professionals provide, the patient is the one that loses out in the end.

"Inter-professional, interdisciplinary, team-based collaboration is essential to the future of our functioning healthcare system[,] and we can't get there if we're not learning and teaching together. In healthcare, we learn in silos. Medical doctors train in medical school, and we don't know anything about pharmacists. Pharmacists train at pharmacy school [and] … tend not to know anything about nurses. Nurses train at nursing school [and] … don't know anything about occupational therapists. Yet when we're all done, we're expected to work together … [We need to spend time] in our curriculum to understand the misperceptions that arise between the patient persona and the provider persona, so that we can uncover the roadblocks to honest conversation that get in the way of participatory healthcare decisions. We can't have honest conversations if we don't have trust, and we don't have trust in our relationships because we don't understand each other."

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