The healthcare industry is one where increased knowledge sharing of best practices will benefit all involved. This is certainly one way to drive health care costs down while improving service that any one should agree with. I recently spoke with David Beyer whose company, Cortex, is providing a collaboration solution targeted specifically at this need. David mentioned that since most healthcare competition is only at the local level, knowledge sharing of best practices at the national and global level is likely to occur.
There is a need for both increased documentation and sharing of best practices within institutions and across institutions. The initial release of Cortex addresses the first challenge and they will soon to expand their reach to serve the second challenge. Their initial clients include hospitals and professional associations that serve the healthcare sector.
David gave me a tour of the system. There are five major components: recent activity, discover, share, discussions, and members. Best practices are shared in two formats that are housed within the share tab. There are notes for quick entries and cases for more comprehensive examples. The cases are placed with a useful template. Each case provides the challenge, the solution, a summary, and links to similar cases. With both cases and notes you can add comments and attachments. Suggested tags are auto-generated through NLP and the contributor can also put in their own tags. Here is a sample screen shot of a case.
The recent activity tab leads you to a dashboard where auto-generated updates of user activity are displayed. You can see when new content or new comments are added and who did it. The discover tab provides a search capability that looks at both the notes and cases, as well as the content within any attachments. The discussion section offers threaded discussions to take useful dialogue out of the siloed spaghetti of email. You can browse the members section to find expertise within the system. Here is a sample screen shot of the dashboard.
At the moment Cortex is set up to serve individual organizations. However, there are plans to provide a global capability to share across institutions. In this case you can look for expertise across institutions, as well as find new best practices.
I like the simplicity of the system and the intuitive interface. It is very focused and serves a real need. I look forward to see how it progresses. You can also get more context and interesting stories at their blog.