While electronic medical records guide physicians through patient encounters and help document their services for billing purposes, the records don't support true care coordination, according to an opinion piece for MedCity News.
Therefore, to better manage the patient's entire care experience, the healthcare industry needs to adopt "care coordination records," writes Ted Quinn, CEO of ACT.md.
"A Care Coordination Record bridges the gap between an in-person visit (as recorded in the Electronic Medical Record) and everything else that needs to happen across the care continuum and in-between visits," he says.
Quinn envisions the record would include:
Every member of the patient's care team, including family members, clinicians and support staff
An up-to-date care plan that address the patient's needs
All the tasks and activities associated with the patient's care plan
Mechanisms to track communications with all internal and external team members
"All members of a care team, including external providers, community supports, and family caregivers, can use Care Coordination Records to engage in collaborative care planning, efficiently manage in-between visit care, and make safe, reliable handoffs across the care continuum," Quinn writes.
Improved hand-offs throughout the care continuum is critical to better care. Research finds that communication--or lack thereof--between hospital clinicians and primary care providers often results in poor care coordination after discharge and a greater chance of patient readmissions. But better coordination of healthcare services leads to greater patient satisfaction, reduced costs and higher quality of care, according to Mitchell D. Feldman, M.D., of the Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.
"A failure to communicate in the healthcare setting is not simply an inconvenience, it can result in delayed diagnoses, unnecessary tests, increased costs, and at times, may contribute to avoidable but disastrous clinical outcomes," he wrote.
To learn more:
- read Quinn's opinion piece
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