The quest to improve inter-professional collaboration among healthcare professionals (HCP) received a major boost recently, with the launch of the IQVIA HCP Space, an online networking platform that could prove to be the long sought panacea for fostering harmony in the Nigerian healthcare system.
A careful analysis of the nature, structure, scope and objectives of the new networking platform shows that it is a trailblazing bridge-building tool that can help enhance not just collaboration among healthcare providers but also serve as a great means of enhancing efficiency, capacity utilisation and quality healthcare delivery to patients in the nation’s healthcare sector. This is because, to achieve better and desired healthcare outcomes for patients, healthcare professionals must work together in harmony and eschew competition while embracing collaboration. This is the trend in developed climes that are making giant strides in healthcare delivery and Nigeria cannot afford to continue to lag behind.
Indications began to emerge that the platform was poised to be historic and revolutionary in the history of the Nigerian health sector when key leaders of the various healthcare professions in the country jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pledge their commitment to support the initiative and other measures aimed at promoting collaboration and teamwork in the health sector. The signatories included Prof. Mike Ogirima, president, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA); Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN); and Comrade Abdulrafiu Adeniji, president, Nigerian Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Lagos State.
We commend the gestures of these healthcare leaders, as well those of the creators of this ground-breaking initiative; and call on all other stakeholders in the health sector and, indeed, all Nigerians to make it a holistic success. This is not just because of the potentialities of the platform but because of its timeliness. This is the digital age and utilising the digital platform for interprofessional collaboration is no doubt the best way to go at this time.
It is equally noteworthy that the IQVIA HCP Space launch and the signing of the MoU by healthcare leaders is a culmination of previous efforts aimed at promoting inter-professional collaboration by stakeholders. The breakthrough began with the joint conference of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA) and the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSA) held in Las Vegas in 2016, and followed up by the epoch-making symposium organised by the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy in 2017, which was graced by most of the leaders of the different health groups in the country. It is thus gratifying that those noble efforts are moving for the realm of dreams to realities with the launch of this online platform.
We urge all health professionals and stakeholders in the sector not to allow the IQVIA HCP Space innovation to be just another layer in the talk of inter-professional collaboration in the nation. It must be embraced as a game-changer that will take this much needed partnership for progress by healthcare practitioners from mere talk to tangible and beneficial actions.
We also urge the regulators of all the healthcare professional groups, the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), the Nursing and Midwifery Council and others to also seize this as an opportunity to work together not just for professional development but for the good of the patient.