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9 strategies for the creation of work networks in the health sector

The world of technology introduced the concept of collaborative work networks into the business context; According to the definition of Peter Gloor, “these networks are understood as teams of self-motivated people, with a collective vision, enabled on the web to collaborate in the achievement of a common goal through the exchange of ideas, information, and work.”

This concept, embraced by different sectors, has evoked great interest in health workers such as doctors and specialists, who, displaying a patient-centered care model, have found the best tool to seek their well-being and management in these networks.

There is no doubt that today more and more doctors are highly specialized in their area, who, even if they wanted to, could not provide comprehensive patient management, and are forced to seek advice or even refer to other colleagues to pursue this therapeutic management that is not in their competence.

Thus, it is highly strategic and coherent to develop collaborative care exercises, identifying a patient’s chain of services in search of a timely diagnosis and adequate treatment.

Building the Network

The first step in this exercise is to identify the things that correspond to us within the clinical expertise and identify the interconnected areas to diagnose and treat the patient. In other words, if your clinical focus is fertility, your patient likely seeks help from general physicians, gynecologists, urologists, endocrinologists, and internists.

The critical point is that amid this specialization that we have mentioned, the patient can go unnoticed, not due to lack of interest on the part of his physician, but due to ignorance of the pathology or lack of adequate support platforms for its management and frequently due to lack of time. We all know that a promptly diagnosed disease will undoubtedly have a better medical outcome.

But how to reach these doctors? How to make yourself visible and relevant to them?

Next, we will present nine strategies that we consider can help you in the creation and consolidation of your Network and Allies:

Thanks to technology and information systems, today it is not difficult to access specialist databases; however, there is no better source of information than the patients themselves, since in their long journey to reach your hand, they should have met doctors who can be part of this network and even better, they could have close ties with them that can help reach them with confidence. It is also an excellent opportunity to demonstrate our capacity for service and attention in practice.

Not all doctors are suitable for all patients, nor are all patients suitable for all doctors. Understanding that each institution has a market niche and that the patient will accept the one that meets most of their expectations is essential to not generate professional jealousy with those who offer the same service. The union of efforts between competitors can increase the demand for a service. In addition, creating a trustful relationship is essential in any area, including health.

The networks must work in a bidirectional way, which means that it is valid for a doctor to refer his patient to a specialist who can treat their disease, but it is also true that there are doctors that they can treat their patient with the support of this specialist, without the need to drop the case in its entirety. Doctors must talk to each other, share knowledge, and teach each other. Sharing knowledge is a very efficient way to strengthen ties.

 Continuous communication is essential for comprehensive patient management, which is why it is highly relevant to keep the referring physician informed about the directions that have been given to their patient and which things should be given to them in the future when they return to him. Thanks to technology, this exercise should not be difficult to achieve; some platforms help generate these reports quickly and safely. However, it should be noted that one must be flexible and versatile in this regard when trying to identify the most functional method of communication with each referring physician. It is necessary to facilitate their logistics; thus, this process growth will be faster and more efficient

When a relationship adds up and contributes to professional and personal growth, it will undoubtedly be destined to last over time. We must be broad in knowledge and help to close the gaps that limit a patient’s diagnosis through training programs and the development of medical expertise. In addition, allowing them to know the academic, infrastructure, and technological support behind the service offered strengthens trust.

A thing that for one specialist may be natural and part of their routine, for others, may be unknown and complex. In this sense, it is beneficial to design tools that facilitate the work of referring physicians with formulas, and management plans, among others, so that making a comprehensive evaluation does not require additional effort. It is essential to understand that the most valuable and scarce product for a doctor is called TIME. Therefore, we must put ourselves in their shoes and provide them with tools that save time without sacrificing the quality of care.

We mentioned this previously, which is the importance of developing the referring physician’s competencies so that he can accompany his patient as long as possible and if this generates income for your practice, even better.

It is about going beyond the professional relationship. It consists of knowing the other, their motivations, tastes, and dreams. It is about transcending networks of allies to networks of friends, where the main goal is to help each other while keeping the patient in the center. Trust becomes friendship. When this is achieved, it is a powerful bond.

In conclusion, the creation of Collaboration Networks or Networks of Allies, more than an end, should be a continuous purpose of our organizations, visualized from all scenarios, involving the most significant number of actors possible, with a single collective vision of improving the experience of our patients.

ANA MARÍA MEDINA B.

Commercial Director

InSer


[1] https://www.elsevier.es/es-revista-revista-calidad-asistencial-256-articulo-las-redes-innovacion-colaborativa

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