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Open innovation networks are one key to improved care
Date:9/23/2009

aring health information, or misinformation, among themselves.) Health care professionals will be a part of the process, and the solution.

Participation and privacy are concerns

It will not be easy. The researchers know one of the stumbling blocks likely will be ensuring participation by already-busy doctors. During the design phase, they will study ways to encourage doctors to become more engaged with their patients and with fellow physicians. They hope parents and patients will encourage doctors to get involved, and by connecting colleagues, doctors will view the social networks as a means to collaborate and improve the care they are naturally motivated to provide.

Another issue for the researchers to address is patient confidentiality and federal privacy laws. The software platform on which the network will operate will be designed to protect privacy and confidentiality, but also allow and encourage the sharing of information.

Part of NIH's bold initiative for transformative research

The Cincinnati Children's researchers are especially excited about receiving the grant from a special NIH fund set aside for highly creative and highly innovative projects. The so-called "transformative RO1 grants" are for projects "proposing exceptionally innovative, high-risk, original and/or unconventional research with the potential to create or overturn fundamental paradigms," according to the NIH.

The five-year grant will also allow testing of ways to make care more continuous, communication more seamless, and to enhance patients' and families' ability to perform necessary self-care for the conditions.

Another advantage of the social networks is that it will improve the relationship between the doctors and patients. Today, there is not a lot of time for pre-visit preparation. Often a doctor glances at a chart just seconds before walking into a patient's room. The patient may be feeling better at that point in time and no
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Contact: Thomas McCormally
thomas.mccormally@cchmc.org
513-636-9682
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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