Success Story: Nurturing Cross-Departmental Relationships

Some physicians may remember a time when doctors’ lounges were a place to mingle with colleagues, share difficult cases, and put faces to names. Even before COVID rendered such in-person gatherings undesirable, there were few opportunities for physicians to get together to meet outside of formal clinical interactions. In January 2020, Dr. Mike Thomson, along with Dr. Kristin Atwood, Project Lead of the Transitions in Care committee, created such an opportunity through a networking event at a local banquet room.

During the dinner, various physician groups did four mini presentations on initiatives and projects of interest to the audience. These included the Pathways program, currently being implemented in family physicians’ offices in an effort to facilitate referral processes; efforts within the Emergency Department to increase dictation of encounter summaries; an overview of the Hospital at Home initiative, and a project to improve the use of secure email among physicians. Additionally, the Emergency Physicians Journal Club was shared with the audience in an effort to encourage further participation.

Attendees shared that this type of networking event not only helped them learn more about current initiatives, but also allowed them to connect with a colleague they had previously only known by name. Over 90% agreed it was a good use of their time and 100% stated they were likely to attend a similar event in the future. Though this event was held prior to COVID-era restrictions, there is an even greater need than ever now to enable physicians from different disciplines to break down perceived barriers. Our thanks to the organizers for putting this event together.

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