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Can Collaborative Care Reduce the 3rd Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 @ 06:20 AM

collaborativecarecauses.jpgThe 3rd leading cause of death in the US is medical errors. 

No medical provider wants to make a mistake. And every hospital administrator wants to create the conditions for an error-free hospital. 

But the reality is that these errors happen on our watch. And we believe that the key to addressing them is something that few providers or administrators are addressing sufficiently: collaborative care and medical collaboration.

The first step in beginning to address medical errors is understanding their causes. The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare notes that 80% of medical errors are communication driven. The sad part of this note is that it was published in 2012, and now, 5 years later, very little has changed!

Communication errors, usually problematic handoffs, can result in misinformation to the attending physician, the consulting physician, the resident physician, the nurse or technician, or the patient and family. Results are delays in treatment, inappropriate treatment, “adverse events”, omission of care, increased cost, inefficiency from rework.

The Joint Commission's response to these issues --their TST tool -- is a set of protocols that describe what should happen and analyzes where mistakes occur. We think this tool is a tremendous contribution to the space. It's so important to look at where mistakes happen and identify the ideal flow to avoid them. 

That said, a set of protocols doesn't give providers a tool for what should happen, or make it any more likely to occur. We generally start with the understanding that medical providers are trying just about as hard as they possibly can -- so it's not a better understanding of what they should be doing that they need, it's help to do it.

Of course, our current tools don't support us as medical providers in addressing any of these issues. EMRs / EHRs are for recording what happened, not doing things better. 

That's why we believe that it's so crucial to use Hybrid Store-and-Forward® telemedicine as a tool to do medical collaboration and improve handoffs and communication. It's one of the few things not just telling you what you should do -- but actually making it faster and easier to do it. Medical collaboration is challenging because it involves transmitting complex information to a multidisciplinary team, in a way that works with people's hectic days. This kind of tool supports that, never missing a beat.

We try very hard not to promote iClickCare here, and really want to discuss the environment in which we live and work. But, we very much want you to have the tools you need to work how you want to work. 

Try the iClickCare 14-day evaluation

Tags: medical collaboration, healthcare collaboration

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