Chris Netherton, M.D.

Better Collaboration Means Better Patient Care


For years now, industry bodies and leading experts have identified fragmentation as one of the leading causes of lower quality and higher cost healthcare. Thinking has changed and the ‘super practices’ that were planned,
even months ago, are now being surpassed by the combined efforts of practices collaborating.

Efficient collaboration is now a megatrend within healthcare. At Microtest, we are at the leading edge of this change, pioneering systems which will help healthcare providers work together seamlessly and effectively.

All stakeholders in the industry need to be aware of the benefits of collaboration and to focus on this area as a priority for continuous improvement. This includes hospitals, doctors, nurses, community health providers and other caregivers. By cooperating and sharing knowledge, caregivers can greatly reduce costs and improve patient care.

Obviously, collaboration can have great cost benefits for all involved – but cost is only part of the equation. When caregivers across the board operate more effectively as a team, the quality of care is improved, patients can be treated more quickly and accurately, unnecessary duplication of effort can be eliminated, and drawbacks such as adverse drug interactions can be reduced.

I am really inspired by the work of “Collaborate”, an independent CIC based at London’s South Bank University which has the specific aim of encouraging more effective collaboration within our public services. The recent publication of their final report into ‘Place Based Health’ again flags up the vital importance of fostering a collaborative culture.

If we are serious about tackling long-term conditions, about keeping people out of hospital, about community services and integration, then we must understand we’re only going to achieve this through collaborative practices.

Lord Victor Adebowale, Chairman – Collaborate

If we are serious about tackling long-term conditions, about keeping people out of hospital, about community services and integration, then we must understand we’re only going to achieve this through collaborative practices.

Lord Victor Adebowale, Chairman – Collaborate

Its chairman Lord Victor Adebowale comments:

“Health and social care are intrinsic elements of an equal society. In order to fix them we need to foster collaborative thought and practice. If we are serious about tackling long-term conditions, about keeping people out of hospital, about community services and integration, then we must understand we’re only going to achieve this through collaborative practices.”

Fostering collaborative thought and practice is not something that can happen overnight. It takes a shift in mindset and approach at both an organisational and individual level. These are challenging but also very exciting times for the healthcare industry, as we try to evolve new and better ways of collaborating across organisations. At Microtest, we are playing our full role in creating new solutions to help this happen, as well as nurturing our own company culture to embrace the change.