By Miranda N. Meadow
I recently began reading All In: Using Healthcare Collaboratives to Saves Lives and Improve Care. My favorite line so far comes from Joe McCannon:
“Variation in American healthcare is not merely ‘interesting,’ ‘troubling,’ or ‘worthy of deep research;’ it’s fundamentally unjust. When we know how to do something that can save lives or reduce suffering, and we fail to make it available to anyone who could benefit, we’re all at risk of seeing our loved ones subjected to avoidable harm.”
McCannon’s use of the phrase “fundamentally unjust” is what really caught my attention. Because it’s true that a lot of the language we use around care transitions work is muted, that we talk about the issues: adverse events and unnecessary readmissions and preventable costs. But we don’t often talk about just how unjust it is that we know what works but we continue to insist more research is needed.
I’m admittedly early in my career. I finished my graduate degree in 2012, having worked in Colorado’s public health scene for three years. Since that time I’ve worked for Denver Health Managed Care, for Colorado’s Quality Improvement Organization (then CFMC), and for a private software company focused on nursing home quality. This combo of experiences have added up to provide me just enough understanding about the problems surrounding care transitions to be dangerous. But I have a nagging sense that when it comes to care transitions work we know a LOT about what works. We don’t need more pilots. We don’t need more practice. As a healthcare community, we need to invest resources at a scale that allows us to take this work from trial to Standard Operating Procedure.
I’m thrilled to join in working with so many dedicated professionals across Colorado to advance the mission of Healthy Transitions Colorado. My first month has been filled with meetings with several community partners that have generously taken the time to speak with me about their organizations, their goals, and how we can ensure that the next few years of HTC can be a truly collaborative organization that focuses on the goals and needs of our community partners. I invite you to reach out to me so that I can get to know you and your organization. If you have questions or concerns about HTC specifically or care transitions generally, I want to hear it. The work can seem big and the system un-fixable, but we can fix it.
Because we have to.