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Lab Leads with Team-Based Vision

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, March 16, 2012

Recently I've talked to a lot of senior healthcare executives about healthcare reform. It's a broad topic, but it seems reform is all we talk about.

One of the most pervasive themes in our conversations is the concept of teamwork in the struggle to transform the healthcare system into one that manages the health of the patient rather than one that treats problems on an ad hoc basis, often long after patients have gotten worse due to delays or gaps in care.

The concept of teamwork in what has been a pay-per-encounter business is, admittedly, a warm-and-fuzzy notion. It evokes a generally accepted ideal in healthcare: Preventive and connected care is better care.

But senior executives are sometimes not as tuned in as we'd like to think they are about the actual progress that's being made in their organizations toward that goal of team-based care. Sometimes they don't realize they have valuable team assets in unexpected places. 

Carol Quinter is not one of the most senior leaders in her healthcare system, yet she has a critical role as the senior leader of the lab at Kettering Medical Center, the flagship hospital of Kettering Health Network in Dayton, OH. And from what I learned through talking with her, the teamwork message is getting through, at least at Kettering.

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