Physician Collaborators Wanted
Healthcare providers know that collaboration is critical to delivering optimal patient care. Members of a care team leverage their specialized knowledge and skills to determine a diagnosis, and then formulate and execute a treatment plan.
Collaboration is equally critical to designing optimal health IT solutions. Software architects and programmers alone don’t build great clinical applications; they need input and feedback from clinician users.
So the AMA’s new Physician Innovation Network should be a welcome addition to the roster of resources available to vendors seeking a hands-on clinician perspective to inform their product development work. As AMA describes it, “The Physician Innovation Network is an online networking site that connects and matches physicians and health tech entrepreneurs/companies to collaborate in developing improved solutions in health care.”
What’s particularly interesting about this initiative is that AMA aspires to “increase physician leadership and participation in identifying targets for new technologies,” not just have doctors evaluate products that already are built, according to a report in FierceHealthcare. In it, AMA president David Barbe, MD, talks about “physicians [playing] a greater role in leading digital health innovations” – in other words, less tail-wagging-dog product design by engineers eager to build the next cool thing for the sake of building the next cool thing.
It is great that the AMA is encouraging and enabling physicians to become more engaged in health IT creation. After all, so much IT has been foisted upon physicians over the past decade, at this point they know what’s useful and usable, and what isn’t. Vendors should be eager to put that hard-earned experience to work.