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"I Vow to do What I Can to Foster Collaboration on the Part of Health Care Workers"

Dec 23, 2011, 6:30 PM, Posted by Susan Hassmiller

As we head into 2012, the Human Capital Blog asked Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) staff, program directors, scholars and grantees to share their New Year’s resolutions for our health care system, and what they think should be the priorities for action in the New Year. This post is by Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, RWJF senior adviser for nursing.


I am humbled by the vast number of people who have come to work on this Campaign because they believe that doing so will make a difference and will indeed improve patient care in this country. And, in continuing to watch their work and supplement their needs, I am struck by the continued fragmentation of our system and vow to do what I can to foster collaboration on the part of health care providers. It really will make a difference for patients when there is true collaboration and teamwork.

Like the IOM report, I do believe that all providers must be able to practice to the top of their education and training and believe it makes the most sense in an era where cost and access issues are paramount. The level of care provided should be dictated by our needs as consumers. If there is a sound cost/benefit quotient based on evidence, that is what we should adhere to. Sometimes it is a family caregiver or a community health worker who will do the trick; sometimes a pharmacist; sometimes a nurse practitioner; and in the case of my mother who has had her life extended for which I am eternally grateful…it was a heart surgeon.

In this new year, this is what I am grateful for!

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.