What is the case for collaboration with other providers?
Working with other providers can improve efficiency and effectiveness in providing health care to rural populations. Collaborations and networks can be formed around a variety of shared issues, including health IT infrastructure development or related concerns about patient safety. Organizations working in a collaborative environment can pool available resources to find the necessary expertise to manage and direct health IT implementation and maintenance efforts, leveraging the knowledge and skills of these individuals as change leaders for the entire community. By sharing specialized support staff, personnel costs for individual providers can be reduced. In addition, by combining efforts, providers can bring more volume and funding to negotiations with vendors that can increase leverage and reduce individual provider costs. Collaboration also gives providers the opportunity to learn from and support each other through the successes and failure of the health IT implementation process, sharing best practices and innovations among the group. Moreover, by engaging multiple providers, the collaborative process can promote community acceptance of change and foster a sense of purpose towards achieving a common goal.
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