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Peter Margolis, MD, PhD, Discusses Importance of Collaborative Networks

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 - 00:00

As Director of Research at the James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence and Scientific Director of the ImproveCareNow Network, Dr. Margolis said collaborative networks can have a positive influence on pediatric health care.

Peter Margolis, MD, PhD, of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

"The ImproveCareNow Network was the first of 13 subspecialities in pediatrics setting up these kinds of networks," Dr. Margolis said. He went on to explain the network was formed in 2005, following changes by the American Board of Medical Specialities regarding certification.

"In the past, physician certification has been based on a knowledge-based test," Dr. Margolis said. "But the boards realized that it wasn't enough to just know whether or not we did the right thing, but to actually be able to put it into practice."

Maintenance of Certification (MOC) is now based upon more than the examination. It is based on four key elements, including Quality Improvement.

The American Board of Pediatrics supports many collaborative networks, such as the ImproveCareNow Network, by granting MOC credit for physicians who participate in approved Collaborative Quality Improvement Activities.

"The Board asked us to set up a program that would serve as a model in pediatric care for pediatric subspecialities," Dr. Margolis said.

The collaborative is aimed at bringing together patients, families, clinicians, and researchers to improve the outcomes for those with Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis.

"We'd like to see it go much faster. And we'd like to see the kind of infrastructure that's getting created extended to virtually every kid in the country."

Collaborative networks such as ImproveCareNow Network are focused on uniting key players involved in treating children and adolescents to share ideas, conduct quality improvement initiatives, and record and review data with the ultimate goal of decreasing gaps of quality care and improving success stories of patients.

"One of the great things about collecting routine outcome data and standardizing care is it's a great basis for research," Dr. Margolis said. "We're able to detect improvements and we're also able to identify patients who might be appropriate for trials, and also harness ideas from the network from the doctors and the patients about new possible treatments."