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Collaboration: A Key Driver of Change in Healthcare

October 2019 | Written by Marcus Wilson, PharmD

Many would agree that as of now, the US healthcare system is not sustainable. One key challenge is that of variations in care.

Due to gaps in the clinical evidence available to providers and patients, the resulting decisions made by physicians, or the action taken at point-of-care – often differs from guidelines and recommendations too general to meet the needs of diverse patient populations. Many decisions abound between the conception of a biotechnology and its use by a patient. Unless stakeholders – product innovators, regulators, payors, physicians, and patients – collaborate, disparities like this one will worsen.

To combat the escalating cost of drugs and other symptoms of the unsustainability and disparate nature of the healthcare system, stakeholders must work in unison in order to gather tools and other resources necessary to foster not only the generation of real-world evidence (RWE), but also the implementation of actionable evidence into decisions made by all. Indeed, a select number of stakeholders have begun to take action. FDA Sentinel, IMEDS, PCORnet, and NIH Collaboratory – are all collaborations that have been constructed with the involvement of as many as 50 healthcare stakeholders. Among these, competing health insurers are forming alliance collaborations, which enable participants to accomplish what would otherwise be impossible.

Collaboration among 50 healthcare and academic organizations nationally made it possible for FDA to build a distributed data network and analytic tools that enables the federal government to investigate safety questions about regulated medical products [press release]. This may eventually result in a linked, sustainable system that will allow for the active monitoring of the safety of medical products both continually and in real-time [FDA Sentinel Initiative]. The NIH Collaboratory that is successfully conducting large-scale clinical studies, is only made possible by its partnering with multiple healthcare systems. These are but a few examples of how collaboration is actively changing healthcare.

Large-scale alliance collaborations such as these present a massive opportunity for stakeholders to work together to inform the decisions that have the power to make healthcare safer, lower cost, and higher quality. As this industry nears an era of value-based care, collaboration will be a necessity for improving health outcomes.

Thought leadership originally published in March 2016.
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