Collaboration Over Competition

Posted 15 May 2014 1:14 PM by TCAuthor3

By Dorothy Erdmann, CEO, Shawano Medical Center

I have long believed in the value of collaboration over competition. Shawano Medical Center and the forthcoming ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano welcomes qualified practitioners from many area clinics to admit and care for patients. When it comes to health care in a single-hospital community like Shawano, it makes sense to welcome different talents and perspectives. We offer patients care from our own community of providers, including the Menominee Tribal Clinic, Fox Valley-area specialists, and Green Bay-area specialists.

As a small, rural medical center, we understand that we can’t provide every medical service that our patients may need. But we want to be able to provide 100% of the appropriate services to our patients. ThedaCare has helped us work toward this goal by bringing the providers to the people who need them. When they pass through our doors, physicians and care providers are welcomed as part of our core team. Patients benefit from a wider range of ideas and opinions, and our doctors benefit from the collaboration of their peers who offer insight and experience different from their own. Last year, our local care was further enhanced by a partnership with Mayo Clinic, which offers specialty consultation to physicians. This brings an additional wealth of expertise to our patients without having to leave their own doctor!

Furthermore, our cooperative spirit helps keep health care costs low when we share resources instead of duplicating them. For instance, just one MR (Magnetic Resonance, a type of imaging machine) is all that is needed to serve a community of our size. It makes good sense to share it. Similarly, it enriches our care system when we welcome professionals with specialized skills, cultural understanding, and language abilities who capably serve our diverse population.

Health care operates in a realm where expertise, gentleness and sensitivity go hand-in-hand. Our good work lends itself to a cooperative spirit, one that better serves the patients and families who rely on us.