How to foster healthcare collaboration

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A patient’s health journey often involves multiple specialists, and fragmented communication or lack of shared data might lead to missed diagnoses, delayed treatment, and even medication errors. Effective healthcare collaboration ensures a more comprehensive view of patient conditions and better delivery of care. 

With cloud-based healthcare collaboration tools, you empower doctors, nurses, and other specialists to work together to:

  • Share patient data securely and in compliance with HIPAA regulations
  • Communicate effectively to deliver a unified and efficient course of treatment
  • Streamline administrative tasks such as managing referrals

In this blog, let’s review the top use cases and best practices to improve collaboration as part of your digital transformation in healthcare.   

Healthcare collaboration: Definition and use cases

Healthcare collaboration is the concerted effort among medical professionals, organizations, and patients to collectively improve patient outcomes, streamline processes, and enhance overall delivery of care through effective communication, coordination, and teamwork.

Here’s a breakdown of the top examples of collaboration in healthcare:

Use case Examples of collaboration in healthcare
Interdisciplinary team meetingsHealthcare professionals from various disciplines (doctors, nurses, therapists) come together to discuss patient cases, share insights, and coordinate care plans
Telemedicine consultationsCollaboration between primary care providers and specialists through telemedicine platforms to facilitate remote consultations, diagnosis, and treatment planning for patients in distant locations
Integrated care networksConnecting different healthcare providers to ensure transitions of care and holistic patient management
Research consortiaCollaboration among researchers, academic institutions, and life sciences companies to conduct clinical trials, share data, and advance the development of new therapies
Patient engagement programsInitiatives that involve patients in treatment planning to optimize health outcomes

Challenges to collaboration in healthcare

Fostering a truly collaborative healthcare environment isn’t without its hurdles. For example:

  • Organizational silos and lack of data interoperability: Traditional healthcare structures (where different disciplines operate somewhat independently) limit information sharing. Fragmented patient data across disparate systems can contribute to gaps in care and redundant tests.
  • Communication barriers: Busy schedules, lack of standardized collaborative communication protocols, and reliance on outdated methods (e.g. fax machines) create bottlenecks leading to delays and frustration.
  • Legacy technology: Outdated IT systems often don’t integrate well with newer platforms or lack features that support collaboration, making data sharing difficult. The same applies to on-prem solutions that lack scalability or hinder the ability to access data on the go.
  • Security and privacy concerns: Healthcare professionals have a legitimate concern about maintaining patient data privacy and security and demonstrating compliance with regulations such as HIPAA.
  • Lack of training and support: Without proper training on secure collaboration tools and best practices, healthcare teams may struggle to fully use their available tech stack.

Best practices to improve healthcare collaboration 

Here’s how to improve collaboration in healthcare.

  1. Standardize communication protocols: Establish clear guidelines for how different teams should communicate (phone calls, secure messaging, video conferencing) for different scenarios
  2. Schedule regular team meetings: Dedicate brief daily or weekly meetings for team members to discuss patient cases, share updates, and address any concerns
  3. Encourage information sharing: Foster a culture of open communication where healthcare providers feel comfortable sharing knowledge and expertise across disciplines
  4. Leverage patient portals: Encourage patients to actively participate in their care by providing them with secure online portals to access their medical records and communicating with their healthcare team
  5. Invest in healthcare cloud solutions: With scalable cloud storage, you centralize your healthcare data in one place, enabling secure and compliant access on the go
The cloud as an enabler for healthcare collaboration

Benefits of cloud collaboration in healthcare

The healthcare cloud market is expected to reach $89.4 billion by 2027 — and one of the drivers is the growing adoption of electronic health records (EHR). With the cloud, you have the convenience to access and share EHR from anywhere, among other benefits.

Benefits of collaboration in healthcare

By building a more collaborative healthcare environment through cloud-based solutions, you:

  • Deliver better patient care: Real-time access to medical history, imaging, and lab results allows for a more holistic understanding of the patient’s condition and improved delivery of care. 
  • Streamline efficiency: According to the Future of Healthcare study, roughly 9 out of 10 health systems are positioning themselves to offer digital-first primary care within the next five years. By reducing the need for physical appointments, this model prioritizes convenience and accessibility, fostering a more efficient healthcare system.
  • Improve team satisfaction: Automated digital workflows alleviate the burden on healthcare teams, leading to reduced stress and burnout rates. And creating a culture of team collaboration helps to retain talent, too. Per The Future Health Index 2023 report, 44% of younger healthcare professionals say that, when choosing their jobs, it’s important to have a culture of collaboration, with different specialties working together.

Statistics about the importance of a culture of collaboration in the healthcare industry

Explore the benefits of healthcare collaboration tools with Box

Box offers a HIPAA-compliant solution to store, manage, and share files, fostering digital collaboration in healthcare. With the Content Cloud, healthcare teams get:

Contact our team and let’s discuss all your organization can do with our healthcare collaboration tools.

Call to action to secure healthcare collaboration with Box

**While we maintain our steadfast commitment to offering products and services with best-in-class privacy, security, and compliance, the information provided in this blog post is not intended to constitute legal advice. We strongly encourage prospective and current customers to perform their own due diligence when assessing compliance with applicable laws.

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