Encouraging Collaboration for Better Health

Richard Sinaiko and Dean Katharyn May

Richard Sinaiko, who establishes a professorship to encourage collaboration among health-care providers, visits with Dean Katharyn May.

Evidence increasingly shows that nurses, physicians and pharmacists will need to collaborate more and communicate more closely to deliver affordable, top-quality health care, said Richard Sinaiko (’66 BS L&S), chief executive officer emeritus of Sinaiko Healthcare Consulting, Inc. in Los Angeles.

“We need to educate clinical caregivers to communicate better, work more effectively with each other and take advantage of today’s information technology in doing so” Sinaiko said.

With an eye to encouraging a new, cooperative health-care model, Sinaiko and his wife, Patricia, have established the Richard Sinaiko Professorship in Health Care Leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing. He hopes the position will be filled by a faculty member someone with experience in nursing management and leadership who will promote a team approach to health care that’s safe, effective and efficient, and translate those objectives into day-to-day policies and procedures and practice.

“The provider community is looking to us for this kind of leadership,” said Katharyn May, dean of the School of Nursing. “They’re excited about our plans for this kind of interdisciplinary education. With Richard’s gift, we can recruit a nurse scientist to lead the effort.” The School is currently recruiting to fill the position.

The UW-Madison appears to be very much in the forefront of trying to create this integrated model.

Richard Sinaiko

Evidence is showing the historical medical model needs to be adapted to the new economy and the capabilities of information technology, Sinaiko said. The need for closer collaboration among care providers is enhanced by the federal government’s clear message that providers are responsible for the quality of care and the time it takes to deliver that care.

New technology that allows providers to more broadly share and access data opens up new possibilities, he said. With 180 and 290-seat interactive classrooms in which nursing, medical and pharmacy students will work together on virtual cases, UW-Madison’s new nursing learning center will encourage collaboration.

“The UW-Madison appears to be very much in the forefront of trying to create this integrated model,” Sinaiko said.

Improving communication and collaboration among care givers is expected to reduce the cost of care and increase efficiency in measurable ways, Sinaiko said. “Whether they’re making scientific advances or coordinating community-based care, nurses, physicians and pharmacists are all responsible for patient well-being,” he said. “We have to break down the (traditional medical) silos.”

Sinaiko housed the professorship in the School of Nursing to honor his mother, who was a nurse, and to take the opportunity to help create a venue where this type of innovative education can occur.