The Growth Channel

Reach the root cause of your fragmentation problem

Emilia Thurber, Marketing and Planning Leadership Council

In an HBR blog post, the CEO and President of Mayo Clinic reminds us that coverage expansion, while critical, largely overlooks a major source of high health care costs and poor quality outcomes: care fragmentation and variation. 

He describes how knowledge management systems, such as Mayo’s electronic archive of evidence-based protocols, order sets, alerts, and care processes, can address both challenges. 

Learn the barriers to integration

However, knowledge management systems are only useful when used, and many organizations face significant structural and cultural challenges that prevent clinicians from using—or wanting to use—these rich data sources and standardized protocols. 

While many factors contribute to fragmentation, the most significant barriers to integration are a product of how provider networks currently function, with siloed planning processes, conflicting incentives, and employees with little time or motivation to champion integration initiatives.

While most hospital leaders recognize the need to integrate, many initiatives—like knowledge management system implementation—fail to produce sustained coordination across time because they do not address these underlying causes of collaboration failures.

To achieve the collaboration required to improve care and retain patients, hospital and health systems must ensure their organizations have five common elements:

  1. Shared vision: Leaders, administrators, and staff understand the organization’s overall goals and vision and how they personally contribute to success
  2. Accelerated decision making: Stakeholders from across the network and the care continuum are involved in participatory processes with clear metrics for developing shared strategy and decisions
  3. Catalyst leaders: New and existing leaders are given the tools to build relationships and drive change across the organization
  4. Aligned incentives: Hiring and incentive structures reward employees for shared successes
  5. Coherent brand: Coherent, benefits-focused brand strategies clearly communicate how integration efforts benefit patients

Diagnose your fragmentation problem now

To identify where structural and cultural barriers are fragmenting care in your organization—and why—use our Network Integration Diagnostic tool.  The tool will pinpoint where cross-continuum gaps are hurting your performance the most, and show you what you can do about it. Get your own customized plan in just 10 minutes. 


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