Before the HIMSS published guide to establishing a RHIO, I wrote Forming a RHIO?.... In this first ver sion I listed those thin gs that would be importa nt to building a strong foundation for sustainability and success. The l ast item was "communic ate, communicate, communic ate".
Well, I have an example of what happens when sufficient ongoing communication and engagement with all stakeholders doesn' t occur. It leads to misunderstandings, mistrust, and a diversion of interests. This all threatens further collaboration and the vitally important shared vision.
On one side we have a RHIO effort with the desire to move state-wide HIE forward. They are committed to working with local and regional projects around the state and helping other communities in the state to implement health information exchange. Over the years their attention is drawn to other directions and the amount of communication they have with the local and regional RHIO leadership lessens in frequency and in significance.
On the other side, we have multiple local and RHIO efforts who are making significant progress and exchanging data. The lessening of communication is noticed which naturally leads to a questioning of intentions and soon the belief that the state-wide RHIO has another agenda. Because the state is big they begin to formalize their need to associate by creating a new and separate state-wide organization.
It is time they all sit back down around the table and discuss openly the important issues to rebuild trust and a shared vision. Communication, when it is most effective, is two-way, open and honest. Knowing many of these pioneering leaders, I' m confident that each will step forward and put their individual interests aside to overcome this challenge and re-establish mutual support, collaboration and a new shared vision.
The times are changing and there are many challenges, but also some opportunities. Now more than ever, we need to come together and find ways to support each other in overcoming the challenges s o we are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that will help us grow and reach our common goals.