A new set of guidelines offers key strategies to ensure that hospital and health system partnerships with other providers are effective at improving care across the continuum.
Healthcare improvement company Premier Inc. released the guide to help acute care providers navigate the potential challenges of working with post-acute care teams. A recent survey found that despite ongoing and far-reaching provider alignment, post-acute care is a missing piece in care coordination, even though it’s often crucial to positive patient outcomes.
“Determining how much or what type of post-acute care is appropriate has always been a challenge, given the lack of data on post-acute outcomes and costs,” Andy Edeburn, a population health adviser at Premier, said in a post announcing the report’s release. “The acceleration in value-based arrangements demands increased integration across the continuum as health systems become more accountable for the performance of post-acute care providers.”
The report offers five steps to create a strong post-acute care network:
- Be accountable and clearly define responsibilities. Ensure that communication is clear and direct, and make sure that health system staff are all on the same page, preferably before even engaging with the post-acute care provider.
- Use data to analyze consumption and costs. Data on the effectiveness of local post-acute care providers makes it easier to design a plan across the continuum of care.
- Start a dialogue. Once possible partners are identified, meet with them to determine if they’re interested in aligning, the report suggests. Choose a possible partner that can live up to expectations.
- Establish the network. Once the right partnership is identified, set the stage for a culture that emphasizes patient safety and high-quality care.
- Work as a team to improve patient care. Design post-acute care plans that emphasize coordinated care to ensure the best outcomes for the patient.