Achieving Well-Coodinated Care

When a patient needs medical attention they have access to a wide range of healthcare services, but when the issue involves multiple providers the experience can often be complicated, delayed and repetitive. Patients end up duplicating paperwork, they are unable to recall treatments from their past, and data entry is repeated across facilities. Having to visit various locations to get well is hard enough on the patient, but when the providers are unable to communicate with each other electronically, the level of frustration grows for everyone involved. When time is of the essence for a severely ill or injured patient, waiting on paperwork should not be an issue given the tools available today to record, process and securely share data.

In a well-coordinated care system, patients can move seamlessly from one point of care to another where the PCP is the constant point of contact. By utilizing electronic health records, the patient can receive high quality care that respects their needs and values while saving the healthcare system money over time by eliminating duplication.

Success with coordinated care is a massive undertaking that requires involvement from local, state and government representatives to integrate all health services into one system. This shared vision of integrated care produces better patient outcomes and less financial strain on the system.

With integrated healthcare, patients have one healthcare record that stays with them no matter what state they're in or which doctor they are seeing which will result in better care and less guesswork for both the patient and caregiver.

Steps to achieve coordinated care

  • Providers must be open to change
  • Get buy-in from CIO and technical team
  • Adopt the tools needed to participate: EHR, HIEs, business intelligence and ICD-10

Challenges

  • Overall, healthcare providers are not early adopters to technical change for a variety of reasons, namely financial resources
  • Already involved in too many initiatives
  • Transition to ICD-11
  • Lack of funds

How we are getting there

  • Providers are putting tools in place piece by piece
  • The role of the PCP in coordinated patient care is becoming more accepted. Providers are aligning with physicians.
  • Starting to see pilots based on what the community needs vs. pilots based on government reimbursements
  • Taking is slow. Providers know not to expect a return right away. The first expectation is better quality, followed by cost savings.

by Linda Bright

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