With so many healthcare entities involved in the provision of healthcare, it becomes vital for the in-patient and out-patient community settings to manage the coordination between the care providers and the associated settings. However, the coordination and the understanding of this coordination of care often get overlooked and taken for granted in primary care facilities. But what is coordination of care?
What is Coordination of Care?
According to Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ);
“Care coordination in the primary care practice involves deliberately organizing patient care activities and sharing information among all of the participants concerned with a patient’s care to achieve safer and more effective care. The main goal of care coordination is to meet patients’ needs and preferences in the delivery of high-quality, high-value health care. This means that the patient’s needs and preferences are known and communicated at the right time to the right people and that this information is used to guide the delivery of safe, appropriate, and effective care.”
When providers aim to provide an efficient and safe healthcare system for patients, one of the important ways that work significantly involves care coordination. Essentially, this coordination of care is structured in an efficient way that targets improved results for all the involved entities including patients, payers, and providers. For these improved outcomes, different ways are there that can be applied to enhance the coordination of care among associated parties.
Examples of Coordination care
The care continuum is supposed to be dealt with coordination care at any given time. With the whole process, you might have questions around your mind, ‘How exactly does the coordination process work? Here are some healthcare setting-specific examples that specifically show how implementing coordination care can strengthen medical healthcare;
- Acute Care Coordination – Acute care coordination involves handling postoperative or post-procedure patients’ needs when the discharge is advised. Coordinators at the acute coordination care, work to manage the transition of care by taking follow-ups and prescriptions intervals and overseeing any additional instruction given by the provider. This process can reduce mortality and improve readmissions.
- Primary Care Coordination – When healthcare organizations follow an approach of ‘guide primary care’ where RN has the prime responsibility for multiple chronic and lingering health conditions and they work with patients constantly. Here, the nurses are responsible to coordinate with the provider and any specialist in contact to ensure that nothing is missed and left that can be implied to provide complete care. With this, the patient’s overall care cost is reduced and the compliance of healthcare support plans better healthcare.
- Long-term Care Coordination – At times when patients are admitted to a facility where the transition of healthcare providers to either doctors or nurses happens, here, the level of care includes several changes in healthcare plans and medications for instance. These changes occur according to the changing health condition of a patient admitted. This is why the coordination between the providers and nurses is essential in the care provision. Inadequate health and care amendments can bring serious risks to the health of a patient, due to this, care plans advocate the best practice in the patient’s care while maintaining the quality of life as much as possible.
Impact of Care Coordination on Patient’s Health
It is essentially important to understand the impact and the presence of coordination of care in the healthcare system. Below are some instances that unveil the impact of coordination of care on the healthcare industry;
- Eliminated Disjointed Care – Whenever there’s a chance of healthcare provision at a facility, it is assumed to be working jointly. However, that’s not the case every time, the system can be disjointed in the presence of healthcare entities as well. The disjoint healthcare system is common and widely varies sometimes with the involvement of the different areas of healthcare organizations. Mostly between the specialties and primary care types. With care coordination, these areas can be targeted and differences can be eliminated to improve the patient’s overall experience.
- The Clarity in Referral Providers – When patients are referred to a specialist after surgery or treatment, they get confused about why they were sent to a specialist when they are doing fine with a provider. With the help of care coordination, making appointments and considering the next steps to take post-appointments can be easier and more manageable without involving additional resources.
- Liaison between Specialists and Primary Care – With the continuous interaction between providers and referrals, the process of identifying problems becomes easier and quicker. When specialists are clearly informed about the test, diagnosis, and treatment that have been done. Once the referrals appointments and visits are made, primary care providers should have all the information about the prescription and diagnosis made at the referral visit to make adjustments and respond accordingly to the ongoing healthcare plan. Prevention from loss of information – Staff at the referral specialist office deals with a range of processes referred by multiple providers. This is why the loss of data and documents happens commonly in these places. Implying care coordination in practice, you can be sure that your healthcare records are in safe hands and will be available at an efficient time of use.
How Can Patients be satisfied by Coordination Care?
Improving healthcare experience is directly proportional to improving patient satisfaction which leads to adherence to provider’s instructions, care plans, and healthcare recommendations. With coordination care, this satisfaction can significantly be boosted.
Here you can see some more benefits of coordination care;
- Efficient Workflow – A non-efficient workflow can halt daily work at a clinic. If a provider doesn’t find a record when it is needed the most, they will keep switching between tech tools or documents to find the information. While they are searching for the record, the clock of the patient and the provider keeps ticking and it is also likely possible that questions that the patient has in mind according to the current plan or treatment get lost. When good care coordination is practiced, providers have all the information and records even before a patient’s visit which ultimately resolves many problems at hand.
- Better Teamwork in Place – Teams perform better when the information and work plans are shared. A systematic review unsurprisingly found that performance can only be identified through teamwork. Healthcare organizations should emphasize teamwork for effective and efficient outcomes.
By adhering to quality system practices, teams waste less time and deliver the best care that patients need.
When your practice information and your team at the clinic are on the same page, they will help your practice grow better while performing the best practices of providing healthcare that patients can rally on.