This got me thinking …

My recently purchased candle centrepiece has such a lovely legend associated with it. I’d like to share this legend with you as I believe the basis of this legend also applies to our healthcare industry whereby we, too, are united by our common humanity.

Aptly named ‘Circle of Friends’ – Indian legend says that friends would gather around the fire and share their hearts. They would each speak of the good qualities in each other. They shared memories while the embers faded, their friendship was sealed, bringing them closer together, and bringing good luck.

Having been in the medical transcription industry for over 15 years, I have seen, first hand, the shift towards holistic care and the coming together of occupational therapists, psychiatrists, social workers, dieticians and referring doctors, all working in unison and collaboratively to support the patient.

My perspective is unique: it is an objective, outsider’s view; I am not personally involved with the patient and I don’t work for one health specialty in particular. I type reports from one specialist to another, responses to requests for further information, and reports where reference (and recommendations) may be made to other health care practitioners. I cannot help but think that this willingness to share health information and patient care plans with other involved practitioners, and the use and reliance of different areas of expertise, must benefit both the patient and, ultimately, the healthcare system.

I see holistic care as involving experienced health care workers acting in their particular area of expertise, whilst acknowledging their limitations in certain other areas. Just as I wouldn’t expect an accounts officer to accurately type a medico-legal report, or an office manager to know the ins and outs of a transcription/dictaphone module, so too does the referring doctor seek detailed advice to service the needs of the patient, calling on experts from all areas of health. It’s not about which doctor bills more, who provides the best prognosis – every part of the team, from the surgeon, to the specialist, to the rehabilitation provider, to the public health officer, provides a valuable contribution.

Mulling this over, I realise we are lucky to have the breadth of experience and team collaborative spirit in health as reflected in my table decoration.

Now, back to work to do my bit in the collaborative world of holistic healthcare!