Staff Picks
Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Radical Reorientation of the US Health Care System Around Relationships

October 26, 2022
Staff Pick: Radical Reorientation of the US Health Care System Around Relationships

I have been reflecting on the article Radical Reorientation of the US Health Care System Around Relationships by Christine A. Sinsky, MD, Tait D. Shanafelt, MD, and Alexandra M. Ristow, MD and wanted to share with the Intend Health Community. A shout-out to Sam Edwards at RELATE Lab for sharing it!


This article concludes "The transactional conceptualization of health care has been at odds with the fundamental relational nature of the work, to the detriment of health care costs, quality, and satisfaction." It is rich with real life examples of how current health care transactions hinder optimal care delivery and negatively impact the experiences of the health care team members. The authors offer dozens of examples of strategies to support prioritizing relationships in care delivery.

My Reflections

This article speaks directly to my experience as a primary care physician. I found myself saying "Yes!" aloud as I read the examples and suggested strategies, such as "Maximize team stability" by maintaining consistent teams in the workplace and "Align payment to support relationships" by including payment for collaboration across primary care and specialties. My one constructive criticism is that it is very physician-centric when at its heart it is making the case for a stronger team-based approach to care delivery. A section advocating for culture change (p 6) including support for improved team communication and professional collegiality relates directly to our work at Intend Health Strategies.

Staff Pick: Sarah Smithson's reflections on Radical Reorientation of the US Health Care System Around Relationships

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