There may be specialties that have more fanfare or higher profiles. But Long Term Care is unique, fundamentally important, and complex for two reasons. First, it is the only speciality in medicine that affects every person -- both as a family member and as a care recipient -- at some point in their lives. Second, it invariably involves many collaborators, at all points in the continuum of care, and needs the focused collaboration of the family.
For instance, even in the simplest of long term care cases, all of the following people, and more, will likely need to be involved:
- Physician Assistant
- Home care aide or other caregiver
- Wound Care Nurse
Managing, coordinating, and supporting these Interdisciplinary Teams can be time-consuming, risky, and difficult. Communication is great, but the more people that get involved, the more risk there is that something could fall through the cracks. Many teams actually choose to limit the number and type of people that collaborate on a given case. This is not an ideal solution, however.
Effective collaboration among every provider on the continuum of care is really the only way to ensure the best results for the patient.
Increasingly, the Long Term Care community is acknowledging this complexity and emphasizing the use of Interdisciplinary Teams (IDT) as a means to support the best patient centered care. And when it comes to Medicare reimbursement and submitting correct MDS data, an interdisciplinary approach is not just "nice to have" -- it is absolutely essential.
So how does a team providing Long Term Care coordinate and collaborate without letting any balls get dropped? We know it's not easy, so we recommend using tools to help make this kind of medical collaboration effortless. We know, we know -- technology can sometimes make our lives more difficult. But deciphering stacks of handwritten notes and playing phone tag is not effortless. That's why we created iClickCare -- we knew most teams need an effortless, easy-to-use way to collaborate that works with, not against, the flow of their lives and work.
In a long term care setting, using a telemedicine tool for medical collaboration can help you:
- Communicate efficiently and quickly to make better informed decisions
- Create, share, and implement care plans.
- Quickly send notes, photos and video clips to others and get efficient consults.
- Include the family in care decisions in meaningful ways.
- Avoid unnecessary doctor's visits and care delays.
If you'd like to hear stories of how people across the medical community and beyond are using medical collaboration, get our guide here:
Image courtesy of moregoodfoundation on Flickr, used under Creative Commons rights.