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Social media could lead to accountable care organization participation

Building off providers' knowledge of social media tools could lead to more collaborative care and boost ACO participation.

Caregivers and health professionals will face some technical difficulties when trying to reach their goal of collaborating as part of an accountable care organization. In the face of these challenges, reported data shows the Medicare Shared Savings Program -- for which providers can qualify for by establishing or participating in an accountable care organization -- continues to gain members and support.

Within the boundaries of large companies, many employees see their organization as one giant network. Social media has helped open the door to a new way of instantly communicating and sharing information. New technologies and platforms have entered the enterprise space, connecting co-workers and enabling collaboration across continents.

More than 400,000 organizations worldwide are using social tools like Yammer to work together. There are lessons to be learned and applied to healthcare upon reviewing the success of some of these businesses. Specifically, some healthcare professionals are wondering if social tools can be implemented within ACOs to help providers efficiently collaborate on patient care.

Some physicians are just now getting comfortable using electronic medical records and will continue to become more proficient with those tools. Much like how some social networks build off workers' knowledge of other platforms, such as Microsoft Outlook, transitioning to a collaborative platform with enterprise social capabilities would be eased now that physicians have learned other new technologies.

Personalized content and patient-centric collaboration should be at the top of the list of capabilities offered in an enterprise social network for ACOs. This would allow providers to easily communicate across locations and efficiently access meaningful data.

Connecting to an enterprise-wide social network would offer ACOs a better experience because physicians, patient records and communications would be located within one system. At its core, an accountable care organization is a group of healthcare providers that collaborate on the care of a defined population. By enhancing the level of social interaction, physicians and patients will be able to find a new platform for sharing information and collaborating on care.

About the author:
Reda Chouffani is vice president of development at Biz Technology Solutions Inc., which provides software design, development and deployment services for the healthcare industry. Let us know what you think about the story; email
 editor@searchhealthit.com or contact @SearchHealthIT on Twitter.

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