ClickCare Café

The Key People in Health Care Collaboration? They're Not Always Doctors.

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Mon, Aug 17, 2015 @ 07:30 AM

Medical collaboration across the continuum of care

 

One thing people have a hard time understanding about iClickCare is that it enables fairly open-ended communication and collaboration among multiple people on a patient's case. Everyone from aides to caregivers to parents to specialists to nurses teachers have been known to collaborate -- even on a single case. 

  • No, we explain, it's not just the transmission of orders through a medical system.
  • Yes, we assure, it's different from one-to-one text messaging, both because multiple parties share opinions in one place and because you can use multimedia. 

Not every medical provider appreciates just how important this is. But the ones who have collaborated with different kinds professionals throughout their career "get it" immediately:

  • "So, a teacher can collaborate on a patient's case and share how the surgery is affecting the patient at school? THANK GOODNESS."
  • "Finally! I can include technicians and aides in the conversation, who often have more up-to-date knowledge of the patient's status!"
  • "The fact that everyone on the case can 'ring in' on their timeframe, and that we can review all those comments later-- well, it changes everything." 

The sense of relief and excitement that many providers feel when they learn they can use a telemedicine tool to do medical collaboration across the continuum of care is palpable.

This sentiment was echoed recently in a couple of pieces from doctors in the New York Times. Dr. Klitzman shared his discomfort in trying to connect patients to the religious and spiritual help they may need -- and feeling like there was no mechanism to communicate with people outside of the patient's medical team who could help with their medical care. He says, "I occasionally noticed priests in white collars and rabbis wearing yarmulkes or black hats riding the elevators and walking the halls, but was surprised to find that other doctors and I simply ignored them, never speaking to them." There are simply not good protocols for including "providers" that aren't necessarily the traditional core team in the care of our patients. (In this case, religious leaders and caregivers.) That's a big reason iClickCare is intentionally "open-ended" (even as it is HIPAA-secure) so that providers can loop in the people most crucial to the patient's holistic care -- whether those people are doctors or not.

A related episode was described by Dr. Zuger. She shared a humbling moment when a patient was given an X-ray on the wrong foot because she'd accidentally made the order that way -- and the technician insisted that the X-ray be done consistent with the order, despite the patient's repeated protests. How much simpler would it be if the tech could have sent the prescribing physician a quick message to confirm the order? That way, all the providers, across the spectrum of care, are providing value -- not just following orders in a chain of command.

We're big proponents of the use of telemedicine for this kind of medical collaboration, but it can happen in real life (and real time), too. It just takes the bravery to ask the questions, the humility to collaborate with whoever is the most appropriate, and the creativity to find and make the protocols yourself.

 

You can try iClickCare for free, if you want to experiment with this kind of medical collaboration. Click here to find out more: 

Try the iClickCare 14-day evaluation

Tags: telemedicine, medical collaboration, nurse practitioners, good medicine, healthcare collaboration, nurse collaboration

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