Indianapolis, IN. “If patient-centered teams need to perform like special ops forces, why aren’t they equipped for it?” Dennis Schmuland, MD, Chief Health Strategy Officer for U.S. Health and Life Sciences at MicrosofTeam recently posed this question in his article Unified Clinical Communications are Critical to Care Teams.

Frankly, we’re asking the very same question. There are two trends that we are following that are specifically driving this curiosity:

1) Hand-off Medicine – where multiple team members are caring for each patient, each working to the height of their skillset and delegating tasks among the team, and

2) Shared Accountability – where acquisitions, consolidation, and models of payment and delivery like ACOs are shifting the accountability of care from one to many.

In both of these trends, communication and sharing of information is critical to keeping everyone on the same page. But, what about EHR’s? Aren’t they tasked with putting all of the information in one place? Shouldn’t that make it easier? According to Schmuland,

“Sharing electronic records among clinicians should not be confused with real-time clinician-to-clinician conversations that clarify concerns and expectations. EHRs were designed to capture, organize and stockpile information, not support dispersed virtual care teams.” In fact, a recent study found that 94 percent of 13,650 nurses surveyed do not believe that communication between the nurse and the rest of the care team has improved with the implementation of their organization’s inpatient EHR system.

In fact, sometimes the EHR makes it even more difficult. Clem McDonald, MD, world leader in EHR research, remarked that “the records and reports within EHRs now have so much information in them, they’ve become endless and mindless.”

So, if collaboration doesn’t happen in the EHR, then where? We know from other industries that one tool doesn’t solve it all. Think about how collaboration tools like Slack, Wrike, and Huddle are giving us new ways to work as teams. There’s a new layer of intelligence in the platforms that organizes and prioritizes messaging and content differently to get teams to what they need more quickly.

twinehealth is an interesting solution that’s working to connect the dots – not only among the care teams, but with the patient as well. The care team works with the patient to create an action plan. The patient can access the plan at home on tablet or phone and track progress there as well. They can also invite friends and family to have access to the plan. Then, messaging and communication is bundled within this team structure.


Each HCP can see a view of their patients with metrics on how they are progressing and upcoming milestones. There’s also a population health view that alerts HCPs when certain patients may need special attention if they are falling outside of the parameters of the care delivery model.

As the Hand-off Medicine and Shared Accountability trends continue to create more demand for solutions across the healthcare ecosystem to unite clinicians and patients, we expect we’ll see more great solutions like twinehealth.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.