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sanofi-aventis US Chairman Tim Rothwell Addresses CMSA's Collaborative Practice Summit

Posted on 10/9/2007 by NTOCC ® in Press Releases
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Little Rock, AR — Tim Rothwell, Chairman, Group Pharmaceutical Activities, sanofi-aventis, U.S., delivered an address at the Collaborative Practice Summit (CPS) hosted by the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) and held October 3–5 in Uncasville, Conn. CPS brought together a focused group of more than 125 healthcare professionals to discuss leading-edge collaboration models that explored benchmarks for measurement. Rothwell shared personal experiences regarding transitions-of-care issues with CPS attendees and discussed sanofi-aventis' commitment to be part of the solution for improving collaboration among all healthcare stakeholders.

Rothwell complimented the group for tackling a difficult, yet extremely important, issue. "We talk a lot about 'breaking down silos' in healthcare," Rothwell said. "At this Collaborative Practice Summit, you've assembled a group of healthcare leaders who are committed to doing exactly that. The very name of the event — the 'Collaborative Practice Summit' — has the ring of possibility in it. It suggests many perspectives coming together as one to solve a problem."

The issues and challenges of poor transitions of care, said Rothwell, are critically important to him personally and to sanofi-aventis as a company. "The problem, of course, is a healthcare system that, for many — particularly those who get bounced around within it — is fragmented and sometimes even frightening," Rothwell observed. "For those who have family members or friends who have experienced repeated encounters with the healthcare system, the only consistent thing they believe it delivers is confusion and, sometimes, flawed outcomes."

According to Rothwell, a root cause of the problem, is the way today's current healthcare system encourages and builds silos of care delivery instead of encouraging cross-functional collaboration between different healthcare settings and levels of care: primary care physicians, specialists, case managers, social workers, hospitals, care facilities, pharmacists, payors, employers, and patients and their families. 

"I strongly believe the problem in poor care transitions is not a lack of talent or goodwill," Rothwell emphasized. "Indeed, U.S. healthcare professionals still represent some of the best and brightest minds in this nation — and some of the biggest hearts. Rather, it's a case of a lot of good people doing good work ... but not always doing it together." 

Rothwell pointed out the ongoing work of sanofi-aventis in supporting improved collaboration through activities such as the National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC), a group of 27 leading healthcare organizations that have been working for the past year to improve quality of care coordination and communication when patients transfer from one practice setting to another. "When people go through healthcare transitions, something pretty basic is often lost in the shuffle," Rothwell observed. "The patient gets lost. And very tragically, the patient's life is sometimes lost in the shuffle."

He also described to the group how, in only a year, NTOCC pulled together multidisciplinary experts to identify transitional challenges and to develop tools and resources to improve communication, facilitate patient medical information transfer, and build awareness of transitional challenges and solutions for the industry and policy makers.

In encouraging CPS and NTOCC participants to continue working together in areas of "possibility," Rothwell suggested that solutions can be identified which dramatically benefit patients and the healthcare industry. "We're on the cusp of great things in healthcare. We're in a business in which the power of possibilities verges on the amazing. An impossible scenario? Absolutely not! It's eminently possible."

After the address, CMSA President, Peter Moran, RN,C, BSN, MS, CCM, said, "We were honored to have an individual such as Tim Rothwell address such an important group of industry leaders and challenge us to work together more collaboratively. Sanofi-aventis' commitment to improving collaboration and transitions of care is well known and demonstrated by their work with CMSA and many other organizations participating within NTOCC. To hear Mr. Rothwell describe his company's dedication to increasing collaboration and his own personal experiences helped to demonstrate how breaking down silos can benefit all stakeholders directly." 


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About National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC)
NTOCC was formed in 2006 to address a serious U.S. health care issue: filling the gaps that occur when patients leave one care setting and move to another care setting.  These transitions include patients moving from primary care to specialty physicians; moving or transferring patients from the emergency department to intensive care or surgery; or when patients are discharged from the hospital to home, assisted living arrangements, or skilled nursing facilities.  The U.S. healthcare system often fails to meet the needs of elderly patient populations during these transitions because care is rushed and responsibility is fragmented with little communication across care settings and multiple providers.  These failures lead to undue burdens on patients and their families and negatively impact patient safety, quality of care and outcomes.  The focus of NTOCC is to bring together thought leaders and health care experts from various settings to address this critical issue, define solutions and develop tools to address the gaps impacting patient care.  Tools and resources developed by NTOCC will be made available to everyone in the health care industry including providers, payers, patients and consumers.  NTOCC is chaired and coordinated by the Case Management Society of America and sponsored by sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC. Visit www.ntocc.org.

About sanofi-aventis
Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT : SAN) and in New York (NYSE : SNY). Visit www.sanofi-aventis.us or www.sanofi-aventis.com.

About Case Management Society of America (CMSA)
Established in 1990, the Case Management Society of America is an international non-profit 501(c)(6) multi-disciplinary professional association dedicated to the support and advancement of the case management profession through educational forums, networking opportunities, legislative advocacy, and establishing standards to advance the profession. It is based in Little Rock, AR, and serves more than 20,000 members/subscribers and 70 affiliate and pending chapters. Since its inception, CMSA has been at the forefront of setting professional standards for the industry, which allows for the highest level of efficiency and integrity, as well as developing national and local leaders who are recognized for their practice and professional excellence. For more information on CMSA, call CMSA at (501) 225-2229 or go to www.cmsa.org.