By Neeti Mehta and Bethany DeBlock
In an article recently published on the Forbes website, The Silo Mentality: How to Break Down the Barriers, Brent Gleeson discusses the mindset that divides departments and undermines common company goals. He then offers solutions that can help businesses stop this destructive trend. Gleeson’s article attributes the silo mindset to conflicted organizational leadership, and tasks executive teams with the responsibility of breaking down silos. Though the silo mentality is most frequently used in the context of a single organization, the healthcare industry can be seen battling a similar challenge.
One of the key ways healthcare stakeholders can combat the siloed nature of the industry is through data collection and analysis. Healthcare payers and providers are not leveraging their data as efficiently as they should be, and this constricts efforts to improve care as each group makes decisions based upon only a fragment of the information rather than the whole. The absence of knowledge-sharing across sectors can result in interruptions in diagnosis, access to treatments, or proper care. Data is optimized only when it is collected, stored, and reviewed comprehensively, rather than in fragments. At the industry level, working towards a single, overarching, unified vision, such as the improvement of population health will be the beacon steering stakeholders across many tactical challenges.
Breaking down silos is a daunting task, and exponentially so in context of the vast, complex, and multi-player landscape of the American health care system. Agencies can provide real world solutions to these issues by providing a variety of services across all the healthcare stakeholders. These services may include assisting in data unification across departments, healthcare delivery and payment model transformation through clinical and market data analysis, or collaborative opportunity strategy development.
Agencies can keep a keen eye on the market landscape and trending topics, and in-turn, can analyze both clinical and market data to implement across-stakeholder improvements to implement new trends in their business collaboratives. They can help bridge existing gaps between parties by delving into opportunities that overlap across stakeholder interests. These collaboratives often incorporate contracting and data sharing, along with program and tool development through released evidence-based data guidelines. Though healthcare stakeholders can work to fight against the silo mentality seen in the healthcare industry through data optimization, which is one of many ways to take on this task, agencies can also provide support by taking analysis and strategy development to an integrative level.
As the health care industry continues to advance, there is a greater need for an integrated system across all healthcare stakeholders. To succeed in the long term, payers and providers need an easier system to both share valuable information and integrate it into their patient engagement methodologies. By taking a closer look at these problems, there is clearer path toward a better future.