a glass globe and a stethoscope

The Global Future of the Arch Collaborative

The Arch Collaborative data is truly an international currency. There are differences between systems and countries of course; billing and accounting looks very different in different regions. But Collaborative insights and data are applicable the world over. This is true even with the findings around personalization. Though we are implementing the findings in different ways internationally, they are still useful for us to learn from.

KLAS has traditionally focused on publishing knowledge, but here we are assembling learning sets that encourage action. In my view, KLAS has moved from being solely a knowledge disseminator to a facilitator of improvement for active communities that are striving to be better. I consider that facilitator role a massive privilege, and it is important to me that KLAS continues to take that responsibility seriously and allows it to progress at a pace that maximizes improvement.

It’s exciting that KLAS is working in this space where we really can change the face of global healthcare. I see the scope of the Collaborative only growing as we move forward, and I’d like to share some of what I see happening now and in the Collaborative’s future.

Global Learnings

The international organizations we have surveyed to date have slightly higher satisfaction and quality of care compared to the US organizations. That may be due to a couple of factors, among them the fact that really good organizations are coming forward to participate. But we have found some amazing strengths and learnings from those international organizations. For example, Australian organizations have a great way of educating their clinicians. In the Middle East, organizations have strong governance in place. We are seeing that these countries can stand with the US and give examples of things that work really well. Everyone involved is bringing something to the table and then learning from one another.

Using Data for Global Implementations

Just around half of global organizations have a digital system. These organizations will continue to use the Arch Collaborative, as most organizations do, to track continual improvement of the EHR in terms of clinician satisfaction and quality of care. But internationally, we will start to see organizations move into the digital space by using Arch Collaborative findings to ensure they do things right the first time. And these organizations that are just starting on their journey can use the Collaborative not only to get things right but also to reduce risk. The Arch Collaborative gives people a set of guide rails so that they can see the full spectrum of good and best practices and create their own playbooks based on those findings.

In some places, that is already a reality. In Northern Ireland, for example, organizations are using the Collaborative in their whole region to inform EHR deployment and to ensure that they are getting the training and governance pieces right. That is a very exciting new direction for the Collaborative because to date, the data has mainly been used by health systems that have already had an EHR in place.

I am also starting to see people discuss Arch Collaborative information at a national level. Certainly, in the UK and some of the European countries, people are talking about what they know based on Arch Collaborative findings. In 2020, we are going to see an increasing use of those facts and figures in strategic settings and hopefully also in policy settings so that we see minimum requirements for investment, staff, and certain types of governance.

Continual Improvement

We will start to see the majority of people using Collaborative data to continue to improve physician satisfaction both in the US and internationally. That means they will measure, reflect on progress they have made, find the areas that need to improve further, and then put an improvement plan in place and measure again. That is very much like the improvement cycles that providers go through in clinical settings.

The only other comparison is probably the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the work they have done with organizations for over 20 years to improve clinical pathways. They do so by focusing on continual improvement over time making pathways better and better. They’re also a great example of international collaboration in healthcare. Intermountain Healthcare was a big center for IHI, and I was a director of one of the two big centers for the UK. We used to iterate on clinical pathways together as part of this community; we worked on optimal outcomes for many clinical pathways globally. I had not seen anything like that international collaboration until I got involved in the Arch Collaborative.

Growing Communities of Practice

As we see more participating organizations getting into these improvement cycles, we will perhaps see them working together with other organizations on what they find out during these cycles. That collaboration is already starting to mature as I see healthcare organizations get into that rhythm.

We use the term communities of practice in the UK; internationally, we also use the term learning health systems. The Collaborative is helping to grow these communities into global movements in which providers can work together on important healthcare-related issues. I see 2020 as the year of growing these communities and creating learning health systems with the Arch Collaborative.

This is the first time in the digital-informatics space that we truly have people reaching out across the globe to share what they are learning and to iterate together. The Arch Collaborative has broadened our global horizons, and nations can find and work on very big problems together regardless of their differences.





     Photo cred: Adobe Stock, kalafoto