Why I Support Collaboration at Work and as AEHIT’s Committee Head

By Clint Perkinson, IT Director, Beebe Healthcare 


Five major hospitals from Maryland and Delaware have come together on the Delmarva Peninsula, the strip of land that both states share, for the benefit of their patients. Beebe Health and others have collaborated on solutions supporting learning portals, Real Time Location Services, endpoint monitoring, cloud hosting and managed print services. These hospitals have also established a “security alliance” where members meet biweekly.

Although they’re competitors, they all focus on improving the safety and quality of care of their patients. This mission supersedes the internal drive within each organization to elbow their way to the front. Just like this regional “alliance,” members in AEHIT can derive significant value from collaboration on a national level – creating even greater change for healthcare IT.

Collaboration between healthcare providers and within AEHIT creates industry-specific opportunities for business entities in competition with each other. Physicians and organizations are guided to “do no harm” but they compete for top employees, patient satisfaction and patient volume. Despite what might seem like contrary incentives, the healthcare industry is built on collaboration and information sharing that creates a safer environment for all. Collaboration also helps keep professionals from reinventing the wheel whenever new tools are needed.

The goal of the AEHIT collaboration committee, which I head, is to find potential vendors and partners inside and outside of the healthcare space and leverage these collaborative opportunities to mesh with ongoing AEHIT education and professional development initiatives. Since we stood up the committee earlier this year, Applications2U (A2U) and Cisco have signed on as Foundation partners. Committee members continue to reach out to potential Foundation firms and organizations to gauge interest in collaboration.

As AEHIT members, you are in a unique position to collaborate with those who create the technology and products we use on a regular basis. Showing our engagement as members helps build those collaborative relationships. When faced with technological barriers, it is reassuring to know members have a network to reach out to, and by expanding our network of partners and Foundation firms, we increase the resources available to all members.

AEHIT serves in part as a platform to connect healthcare technology leadership and vendors in a manner that allows us to contribute proactively to the conversation around the future of healthcare delivery. By leveraging each other and our vendor partners, we can foster innovation through sharing of ideas and best practices around the application of technology, support a forum for comparing and quickly adopting operational processes, and provide a platform for defining the roles of technology, standards and regulations in healthcare on a national level. Collaboration with our peers is a key to this success.

Members of the collaborative relationships committee represent the membership and we welcome your feedback. Feel free to reach out to AEHIT and the committee though email at [email protected] if you have technology partners or other organizations you feel would bring value to AEHIT, or if you are interested in joining the collaborative relationships committee to help accelerate the pace of change within healthcare IT.

Editor’s note: Clint Perkinson’s IT career started in the military. Read more here.