This is a great story about care coordination. It is about
collaboration between two caring providers and should be lauded. Breast cancer, and really, any illness is very traumatic. Read how two responsible physicians worked together to help their patient.
This is stimulating, but brings up 3 concerns.
- What if there are greater distances involved?
- What if emergencies or schedules preclude a meeting?
- What if a third, fourth, or fifth provider need to participate?
Technology can help the patient receive the specialized care she needs. It can help to make sure that each member of the team who cares for her is "in the right place, at the right time."
We have all heard of telemedicine. While we have heard the term, we think of it as futuristic and impossibly difficult. It has been difficult and it has been highly dependent on expensive complex equipment.
Because of the internet, bolstered by modern computing, things can be different:
- Distance is less of a problem because an iPhone alone or a common desk or laptop is needed.
- Scheduling is eliminated because, as any reader of this blog is familiar with...emails, chats, and notifications are at the convenience of the user.
- Not only one physician, but any caregiver, can participate – doctor, nurse, therapist, nutritionist, etc. and, yes, even the patient.
Doctor, nurse, therapist, nutritionist, etc. and the patient. This means there is real continuity of care. There can be better hand-offs, conflicting medication and treatment resolution, faster response to change, and enabled focus on the patient.
Let's not forget the providers either. Wouldn't it be nice to obliterate telephone tag and realize the satisfaction of really being involved and sharing something special in the future?