Virtual Pantry

Written by PathologyPrevention
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“Cooperative Medicine is defined as an organization whose members share purchasing clout, resources or other materials to further address a patient’s medical concerns.” To the Health Guardian, it’s much more. We embrace many of the principles of cooperative medicine but go further and require collaborative communication and efforts between all medical team members.

Because of this collaborative medicine is also about sharing medical expertise, direction, and guidance such as between your chiropractor, nutritionist, pharmacist, optometrist, and other medical professionals together with the health guardian and primary care giver. Even this lacks the implicit requirements of a high-performance team that collaborative medicine depends on, such as a clear and elevating goal, unified commitment, qualified members, results driven structure, collaborative environment, principled leadership, standards of excellent, and external recognition.

Collaborative medicine takes the pantry to a new level, when leveraging purchasing clout, resources, and materials such as medical equipment, literature, and teaching materials. We begin to envision a virtual pantry, or even a ‘pantry without walls’ in this case. The pantry’s inventory can become much larger when the Health Guardian’s team begins to share access to resources, materials, and even buying clout.

When working with a virtual pantry, typically pantry items are categorized by access time, such as those items that need to be accessed faster, like the emergency category, which needs to be access quicker than some other items, like normal usage or long-term storage categories. Many online doctor consultations can be accessed almost on demand, much like a jar of mustard from the home pantry shelf. In some cases, even your electronic health record can be made available to all team members instantly.

As families and local friends share the same members of their health team, buying clout can be leveraged. In this case, some medical equipment can be checked out like a library. 

Now, as exciting as all this may seem, this is not what we mean by the collaborative medicine of today. We’re talking about enabling everyone on your health care team to quickly get to a diagnosis by using your shared medical history, or in other words, collaborating about what is best for you. Of course, the most important person on your team, the primary gate keeper, is you the Health Guardian.


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