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Bridging the Clinical, Academic Gap Won't Be Easy

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, April 11, 2013

"Educational planning and care delivery planning need to be done together," George Thibault, MD, president of the Macy Foundation, told me. "A lot of positive things are happening in education and care delivery. But in most places, the educational change and discussion is happening in one place, and the care delivery discussions are occurring in the other. We need to integrate education and delivery. That's really the fundamental concept we are trying to get across. Up to this point, each group has been very focused on its own issues, but they need to understand the issues of the other group as well."

In a world beset by "silos," nowhere is that more apparent than in the academic and clinical settings, a division that must be overcome, Thibault says.

"Education is focused on the immediate product—the knowledge and skills of people they are training and sometimes it's a little divorced from what some would say is the real world, what's going on out there," Thibault adds.

"The people who are most focused on trying to get an efficient delivery system say, 'Well, education is going to slow us down, let us just focus on delivery of care.' That is a shortsighted view. They need to have the same set of unified goals and not be too separate," he explains.

While there is so much team-based care sought, it is sorely lacking in today's healthcare delivery system, the Macy Foundation report states. Healthcare delivery systems "must incorporate practice redesigns if we are to achieve enduring transformation," according to the report.

"People tend to focus on what they know best and what they are familiar with," Thibault says. "A bit of a cultural change is needed. Leaders of organizations will have to want this to happen. We need to really have one and the same set of unified goals, not separate."

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