Well, it means a lot of things. And to try to sum it all up in one post would be impossible. So let me give you just one small, real-time example of what the ImproveCareNow Learning Health Network is, what it does, and why that is important.
ImproveCareNow includes 84 care centers across the United States and the United Kingdom. And on Monday, one of our centers found themselves faced with a problem (an insurance company notified them that their patients would no longer be able to receive Remicade infusions at their hospital). Without an infusion center at their hospital they wanted to fight the decision the insurance company made. Not having any prior experience with this issue, they decided to ask for help.
Asking for help in ImproveCareNow can be as simple as sending an email to the Listserv or posing it for discussion on one of our interactive community webinars. This center tapped into our Listerv and instantly their appeal for advice and resources arrived in inboxes across our Learning Health Network. Within minutes there were two responses – one with a concrete solution and the offer to make a connection that could help move the process along. Over the next 24 hours more responses arrived as other teams checked their messages. This collection of knowledge has been archived on the ICN Exchange – our commons – so others with similar questions in the future can review the responses and those with additional ideas (including patients and families) can add them to the ongoing conversation.
This is what ImproveCareNow is – the open sharing of not only questions, but also knowledge, know-how and expertise, which helps every team in the Network provide the best care possible to kids with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. (It’s part of the reason I’m so fond of the phrase ‘let’s outsmart IBD, together’, because we can do more together than we can apart.)
Why are Learning Health Networks like ImproveCareNow so important? Because the healthcare landscape is increasingly challenging to navigate. When a decision threatens to change the way care is delivered it can have a big effect on the lives of patients and families (and providers too!). Networks like ImproveCareNow bring together generous people, with tons of experience, who are committed to sharing openly with each other – and being able to tap into this tremendous resource enables teams to maneuver quickly and advocate strongly for the continuation of reliable and proactive care for their patients.
Meeting in the Commons – sarahstaffmyers
Enough is Enough – alex8799