ClickCare Café

Why Treating The Patient as Part of the Solution Gets Better Results

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 @ 06:01 AM

16751926184_8843b3c4ef_z.jpgThe Wong Baker Scale has become universal and is required by the Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO) to be present at every patient's bedside. Most often it is on the wall where it is unavoidably seen whenever the patient's eyes are open.

This visual pain scale was actually developed in a smart, caring, rigorous, innovative way. (More on that story here.) Wong and Baker created the scale visually by asking children to draw pictures of how they felt at different levels of pain. They then made a composite of those pictures, which became the scale. It was a smart approach because it circumnavigated literacy limitations (which can affect children but also adults with literacy challenges or who speak another language) -- and it was developed in partnership with the patients themselves. 

Sadly, the common usage of the pain scale is very much in conflict with this original approach. The scale is hung so prominently, with so little context, and with such a focus on pain, rather than healing, that the original intention is lost. We will look at the effects on a patient's healing (how badly does it hurt vs. how do you feel?) in a future post. However, we wish to focus on another aspect of the imagery: one that builds a schism between provider and patient.

Of note, is that the images portray not only a description of pain, as intended, but also an element of anger. When the patient is continually oriented toward a literal picture of pain -- with the doctor positioned as the gatekeeper or arbiter of treatment -- then the provider and patient are in opposition when it comes to care. Of course, then a patient with a difficult problem becomes a "difficult patient."

It's not surprising that provider burnout is at an all-time high. Almost all healthcare providers went into the field because they want to help people -- and the subtle message that they are on "the other side of the table" from the patient will wear at compassionate caregivers. Further, this type of positioning starts to make the patient the enemy as well -- the provider begins to focus on "fixing the patient and getting her out the door" rather than embarking on a course of treatment in a journey taken together. 

With similar motivations and implementation as the pain scale, satisfaction surveys also help to manage the patient, but simultaneously shift the focus from success to failure. The surveys have even been found to fuel the opioid epidemic by creating adversarial incentives. Besides contributing to burnout, low satisfaction scores can correlate with low pay with unintended consequences. Again, this isolates the patient from the provider to the detriment of both.

The schism is at odds with current value-based care initiatives. If providers and patients are both looking for an outcome that is truly one of better health, the provider and patient are certainly on the same side, moving forward. Rather than the model of fixing the patient, managing the pain, and getting a good satisfaction score, would it not be better to keep the patient in the loop and keep their assessment as part of the solution?

Healthcare and medical collaboration is finally being recognized as a way to improve our health care system. We must design tools that at low cost and high effectivity include everyone irregardless of degree, title and position. We believe that when it comes to telemedicine, medical collaboration, and telehealth, it's absolutely essential that the patient be deeply involved as a part of the solution. In iClickCare, one of the simple four buttons to be clicked is “Invite Patient”. The true meaning of "invite patient"? Perhaps the button should really say, "invite the patient and family to add to the discussion of the patient's care, as providers of all types work together to come to the best possible approach to care". Further collaborative thoughts among all members of the team, can then be rapidly assessed and appropriately integrated into the patient's care.

Whatever tools you use for the patient, we hope that you make the choice to engage the patient in the solution. It may be action that is "against the tide" but it won't be for long -- you're just a pioneer in making it a reality. 

To experiment with including patients in care discussions, click here to use iClickCare for free:

Try the iClickCare 14-day evaluation

 

Image from osseous on Flickr, used under Creative Commons rights.

Tags: communication with patients, improving patient satisfaction, healthcare collaboration, medical collaboration

Barriers to Medical Collaboration Are Barriers to Good Care

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 @ 11:12 AM

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Even my 4-year-old granddaughter knows what a silo is: the iconic brick, wood, concrete, or metal structure that keeps one harvest from another on a farm. With all the change in agriculture, we would actually be hard pressed to find a farm with the iconic silo, but still. 

The silos in health care are infamous, rather than iconic. The physical barriers are reinforced with regulatory barriers, time constraints, virtual constraints, and -- most unfortunately -- attitudes.

Look around you and notice all of the physical constraints. Do you remember them being as pervasive even just a few years ago?

  • Key cards
  • Locked file rooms
  • Locked drawers
  • ID cards
  • Files face-down
  • Disconnected hallways
  • Tree lined atrium replaced by cubicled offices
  • Windows blocked by required notices
  • Distances across town, across farmland, or just down the hall
  • Diverse institutions. Long Term Care, Home Care and Hospitals

Of course, with technology so integrated with our days, there are also the virtual barriers we experience:

  • Log ons and passwords
  • Telephone tag
  • Not enough integration
  • Too much integration and too much data
  • Packed email boxes

And, saddest of all, we have attitudes that separate us:

  • Not my job.
  • Competition. True story, overheard at a medical meeting in an urban center.... Older chairman of department to you surgeon: “Yes, I will grant you privileges, as long as you just do emergencies and never do cosmetic surgery. Welcome.”
  • Outside of my scope of practice.
  • I’m not allowed to do that.  
  • I’m just doing what I am told.
  • I’m not comfortable with that.
  • I don’t do that often enough.
  • That is too time consuming. 
  • Medicine is a business. It needs to be run like Disney.

It is not enough to blog about it. It is not enough to complain. Each of us should do something, but where should we start? "We" meaning all of us; lab techs, aides, super-specialists, advanced practice nurses, doctors of what ever board certified -ology should get started!

We are not going to change HIPAA and the legions of other state and federal regulations, at least not right away. There are not enough of us to protest (maybe there are and we merely need the 17 year old Hong Kong activist to lead us). We will not get doors unlocked, IDs removed, logons discarded. So, the only thing left, and indeed the core of the problem, is our attitude. We need to regard the patient as our responsibility, not our institution's responsibility. We need more us and we, and less them and you in our language and in our thought. We need technology that promotes these good attitudes, not technology that blocks them. We need technology that empowers action based on these attitudes, not technology that dispirits them.

 

Hybrid Store-and-Forward Telemedicine Can Help Defeat Silos. Here's how:


ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward


Image courtesy of docsearls on Flickr, used under Creative Commons rights.

Tags: HIPAA Collaboration, medical collaboration software, coordinated care, care coordination, medical collaboration, communication with patients, healthcare provider burnout

When Telemedicine Includes a Chicken

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Oct 02, 2014 @ 08:39 AM

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A recent story in the NY times told the story of a doctor in Israel who offhandedly told a patient's son that, of course, a Rabbi could visit the patient in the hospital. The doctor only had second thoughts when he found the Rabbi in the hospital room, waving a live chicken around the patient's head to a unison of prayer.

The story of the rabbi, the doctor, and the chicken probably sounds a little bizarre to some. Although I'd guess that if you've been practicing for a while, it may not surprise you much. The truth is that although this particular patient's custom was a little less familiar to us, patients always have their own customs and beliefs. And as the author points out, as medical providers, we sometimes ignore, edge out, or belittle these customs or beliefs at the expense of good medical outcomes.

Maybe the little boy you just stitched up needs his twin brother to visit him in the hospital or he won't sleep well at night. Maybe the woman scheduling her surgery needs to schedule after Christmas passes or she won't actually give her wound the time to heal it needs. Maybe it's worth standing in the hallway outside the OR for a few minutes while a patient's family prays, as it will help everyone feel more comfortable, and who knows, may even help the surgery go well.

What does all of this have to do with telemedicine and medical collaboration? Well, everything, actually.

We've found that when medical providers don't collaborate, the humanity of their patients can get lost between the cracks.

If the doctor in Israel had gone off duty right before the Rabbi arrived with the chicken, maybe the new doctor would have made a different decision, without the benefit of context. The new doctor might have banished the chicken, and with it, the trust and buy-in of the patient and his family of the medical interventions at work.

With iClickCare, we find that the little things that make medicine a thoughtful, human, respectful, open practice can actually survive. The "story" of who a person is can come across in a conversation between people, or if folks are too busy or schedules don't match up, in a synchronous exchange via Hybrid Store and Forward Telemedicine. It's the little comment about "I'd say to go ahead and take the stitches out, but make sure Dad is in the room for a minimum of tears" or "Let's schedule the surgery for this week, not next, since Ramadan is coming up" that make the difference between extraordinary care and, just, medical care.

So don't banish the chicken. And use whatever collaboration tools you need, to help.


Curious whether hybrid store and forward telemedicine could help you care for your patients?

ClickCare Quick Guide to Hybrid Store-and-Forward

Tags: collaboration leadership, medical collaboration, good medicine, healthcare collaboration, store and forward medical collaboration, communication with patients, concierge medicine

5 Surprising Things That Make a Great Medical Collaboration Team

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Sat, Sep 20, 2014 @ 07:42 AM

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Recently, a consultant from MIT visited a frustrated manager at a call center. The manager was experiencing something that many medical providers have experienced at different times. He was struggling to figure out "why some of his teams got excellent results, while other, seemingly similar, teams struggled?" It's that same frustration we wonder about as providers: we feel "flow" and pride in giving excellent care at one place where we work, while everything seems difficult at a different hospital or location.

After months of data analysis, the call center folks found that the teams that performed best were those that communicated best: "we’ve found patterns of communication to be the most important predictor of a team’s success. Not only that, but they are as significant as all the other factors—individual intelligence, personality, skill, and the substance of discussions—combined."

So how can you improve communications? Well, the hospital lounge is evidence that we've known the answer all along. The call center made one simple change to try to improve communication: they adjusted break schedules so everyone could take a break, make a coffee, and have a conversation at the same time. That change had huge consequences. Soon, they were seeing such increases in efficiency that they anticipate a savings of $15 million per year.

And while medical providers tend to measure success more in terms of patient outcomes than in terms of efficiency, we think there are some interesting patterns to inform our providers for medical collaboration. The coffee-break solution helped cultivate good teamwork, but what are the characteristics of what a good team actually looks like?

5 things that turn a good group of people into a great team for medical collaboration, via HBR:

  • Everyone on the team talks and listens in roughly equal measure with short communications. That's why the entire continuum of care -- nurses, aides, doctors, and everyone in between -- must be included in the care conversation.
  • With conference room encounters, members face each other and have energetic conversations and gestures. With communication technologies this means feedback, prompt responses, and a simple thanks. Video conferences take time and money. But store-and-forward telemedicine tools allow for this kind of energetic exchange of ideas.
  • Members connect with each other not just the group leader. The typical "hub and spoke" consultation doesn't allow all team members to collaborate or share information. Face to face conversations and some telemedicine can support these kinds of "horizontal" conversations.
  • Members can carry on back-channel and side conversation with the team. We feel everyone, no matter where in the hierarchy, should be talking to each other.
  • Members periodically break, explore outside the team and bring information back. While there's a place for efficiency and 100-hour weeks, we certainly think that medical providers benefit from not being excessively overworked and overtaxed. One benefit (among many) is that team members that have a little wiggle room in their schedule can bring back new ideas and information. 
And if teams are a part of your work, check out other stories of medical collaboration in this quick guide: 
ClickCare Quick Guide to Medical Collaboration

Tags: collaboration leadership, medical collaboration, store and forward medical collaboration, communication with patients, patient satisfaction, provider burnout

Is HIPAA (and Telemedicine) Keeping Us Safe or Making Us Crazy?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Sep 04, 2014 @ 08:14 AM

babypicture resized 600

A recent article in the New York Times told the story of several doctors' offices -- pediatricians and OB Gyns primarily -- who are finding out that while the traditional "baby wall" in the waiting room is cute, it's also, well, illegal.

Under HIPAA, "baby photos are a type of protected health information, no less than a medical chart, birth date or Social Security number, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Even if a parent sends in the photo, it is considered private unless the parent also sends written authorization for its posting, which almost no one does" reported the Times. So doctors who have been displaying baby photos for generations are having to take them down, hide them, or keep them up but risk fines or jail time.

We are, of course, big proponents of HIPAA compliance -- our telemedicine medical collaboration software is designed around it -- but there is a part of this story that seems both ludicrous and sad. Patient privacy is crucial and can save lives and support important care. But sometimes the consequences -- like having to hide the faces and stories of a doctor's office -- seem untenable.

In terms of medical collaboration, we noticed a similar disappearance of collaborative conversations among healthcare providers. The elevator became an unsafe place to have a quick check-in about a patient; and no one seemed to have time for the lounge anymore as EHR and paperwork duties absorb every free minute.

ClickCare is our way of saying: we accept the changes, but we don't accept losing the reasons we got into medicine in the first place.

Comply with HIPAA. The penalties for not doing so -- for both providers and patients -- are too great not to. But keep looking for ways to keep medicine about people. Maybe you send parents a form to fill out that would allow you to post their baby's picture. Maybe you find HIPAA-safe telemedicine platforms to reinfuse connection and collaboration into your work. It's not easy, but it's part of building the future of medicine. And that means that baby pictures are far more important than just being "cute."


Curious how other providers are using telemedicine to collaborate? Get our QuickGuide here:

 

ClickCare Quick Guide to Telemedicine

 

 

Image courtesy of gabi_menashe on Flickr, used under Creative Commons rights.

Tags: medical collaboration software, HIPAA, communication with patients, Telemedicine and HIPAA

How Medical Collaboration Can Make Us Feel Human Again

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 @ 11:44 AM

a warm gaze blunts provider burnout

Some people may think medical providers join the profession for the pay, status, or job stability. My experience, however, has been that the work is challenging, the pay is dropping, and every provider I know is doing it because they care about people.

As the Dennis Rosen, MD, writing in the New York Times recently quoted the mother of a son with a genetic abnormality, "I like the people in health care. People in health care, they don’t stare at my son like he’s some kind of freak, you know? They see him for who he is." And the child's doctor affirmed the connection, saying, "I have yet to meet a child who fails to kindle my compassion or to bring out in me the most basic desire to try to help."

Caring about people in medicine becomes more difficult every day.

This basic desire to connect and help can easily be thwarted by the realities of the job, however. Nearly half of medical providers experience burnout and when they do, they can lose their sense of empathy for others and feel deeply isolated and emotionally exhausted.

The connection between this disconnection and the burdens providers face is clear: "A significant proportion of doctors feel trapped, thwarted by the limited time they are allowed to spend with patients, stymied by the ever-changing rules set by insurers and other payers on what they can prescribe or offer as treatment and frustrated by the fact that any gains in efficiency offered by electronic medical records are so soon offset by numerous, newly devised administrative tasks that must also be completed on the computer." (Article here.)

Of course, we often think technology makes this kind of isolation and burnout worse. We get the sense that if we could return to a world before EMRs, incessant messages, and endless paperwork, we could connect with our patients. But the truth is that technology isn't going anywhere and our only choice is how to use it in our service. 

For instance, we've found that by using Hybrid Store-and-Forward Telemedicine, we're able to deal with consults more quickly, leaving more time and energy for the patient sitting right in front of us. Our colleagues have also found that collaboration and communication with other providers and patients can (1) cut that sense of isolation and (2) decrease the unfinished issues, both of which are so damaging. Finally, we believe that when we take small steps to take ownership over our day and our work, we feel more able to survive, thrive, and connect. 

So it's not that it's impossible to connect in this modern day of medicine. It just takes a return to the collaboration, communication, and empathy that got us into this work in the first place. 

 

For more stories of medical collaboration, click here:

 

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Image courtesy of lencioni on Flickr, used under Creative Commons rights.

Tags: collaboration, telemedicine, medical collaboration, nurse collaboration, communication with patients, provider burnout

Is the Sharing Economy the Next Step in Medical Collaboration?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Mon, Jul 14, 2014 @ 10:53 PM

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A few weeks ago, we ended up (virtually) attending a fascinating conference on the "Sharing Economy." The term wasn't familiar to us, although the participants were: Air BnB, Etsy, and Uber are just a few examples of this movement in peer-to-peer exchanges.

According to Jeremiah Owyang: "'The big trend here is that the crowd is empowered to get the physical world from each other rather than buying it from brands.' In other words, we used to trust brands, now we increasingly find trust in one another."

Since ClickCare's focus is bringing peers, providers, and patients together through medical collaboration, we see a lot of ourselves in the Sharing Economy community. That said, we also feel some skepticism:

Maybe peer-to-peer exchanges can work for dresses, cars, and couches, but can they work for the high-stakes and high-regulation environment of healthcare?

We may not have the hard-and-fast answers, but as larger economic trends bend toward sharing and collaboration, healthcare will eventually follow. So, we bring you 4 trends in how healthcare is becoming part of the Sharing Economy: 

  1. Providers and patients are taking matters into their own hands. For many years, patients and providers were increasingly distanced from each other, limiting the amount of control they had in interactions. However, that is changing: "people (consumers and caregivers) are taking on more responsibility in healthcare... adopting various patient engagement strategies, including, but not limited to, communicating via patient portals, enabling shared decision-making through communication aids and prescribing applications and tools for self-care." 
  2. The beginning of the sharing may start with hopsitals. Due to the unique attributes of healthcare, enterprise-level peer-to-peer sharing may be the first place we see this trend: maybe two hospitals share an MRI machine or infrastructure to increase capacity while limiting costs.
  3. Intention is key. Some collaborative initiatives seem to be more focused on regulating providers, rather than giving them the tools to do their best work, while others are more focused on the disease than the patient. Real progress will come when patients are at the center of care and providers have the tools to really serve them.
  4. Patients want to share. Patients are more willing than we might expect to anonymously -- and altruistically -- share their medical data for the good of all. 

What about you? How have you experienced the sharing economy in healthcare, either as a provider or as a patient? We'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

As providers and patients take more control into their own hands, BYOD is increasingly common. Get our guide on how to avoid the pitfalls here:

 

iClickCare IS BYOD Secure

 

Image courtesy of clappstar on Flickr, used under Creative Commons rights.

Tags: collaboration, telemedicine, medical collaboration, communication with patients

What Does a Tattoo Artist Have to Do With Medical Collaboration?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 @ 08:24 AM

Screen shot 2014 06 04 at 10.23.27 AM

When I saw a recent New York Times article and video about a tattoo artist that focuses on realistic nipple tattoos for women who have had cancer related breast reconstructions, I was skeptical. We certainly don't normally see a tattoo artist as part of the continuum of care or part of our community of medical providers, and I would have some hesitations about recommending this kind of post-surgery tattoo outside of the context of the surgeon's office.

I will say that while I have done nipple reconstruction, augmented by tattooing, since breast reconstruction started in the 70's, I have often wondered if the tattooing could not be done better by a tattoo artist. As a physician and surgeon, and student of anatomy, I have an appreciation of reconstruction, meaning restoration toward normal, its principles and indeed, its art (as is demonstrated in this tattoo artist's work). Nipple reconstruction is more than application of decoration. I also knew about the blood supply of the breast, where the implant may be working, and a surgeons commitment to sterility.

However, I also wondered, often, could more practiced hands and heavy duty equipment give a more long-lasting result, despite the fading all tattoos are subject to. I respect the commitment of this artist profiled in the article. Also, I have used medical tattooing as alternatives to things like eyebrow reconstructions.

So, what does this have to do with medical collaboration? Everything, actually. This tattoo artist may not be a traditional member of the medical team, and I might some recommending this to a patient, but in this case, he is certainly providing care related to the healing process. How much of a smoother process would it have been if he could have used iClickCare (as one example of a telemedicine-based medical collaboration platform) to communicate with the patient's surgeon? How much less would her wait time have been? How much more confidence would she have had that this was an appropriate course of action and would fit in with the rest of her treatment? How many potential medical issues could be avoided if the traditional medical providers were able to share their information with the folks supporting the patient with less traditional medical issues?

As medicine shifts, so does the team of medical providers. Our job is to make sure that we have the tools to collaborate with every member of the medical team, traditional or nontraditional.

Of course, it's crucial to have a medical collaboration tool that allows you to respect HIPAA and communicate in a way that honors the patient. We've found that this means you need to be able to have a virtual consult that may "pick and choose" what information, pictures, or history that particular collaborator has access to. So this kind of collaboration is certainly to be handled with care, but as medicine evolves, I believe it is absolutely crucial to involve all members of the team caring for the patient. In this case, the person in question is a tattoo artist, but in so many other cases, the continuum of care for a given patient could include people like:

  • Acupuncturists
  • Therapists
  • Teachers
  • Caregivers
  • Family
  • Lactation Consultants
  • Etc.


Have you found the need to do medical collaboration with any nontraditional parts of the team? How have you facilitated communication and collaboration with them? We'd love to hear, in the comments below.

And for our "field guide" to medical collaboration, click here:

ClickCare Quick Guide to Medical Collaboration

 

Tags: collaboration, telemedicine, collaboration leadership, care coordination, medical collaboration, telemedicine solutions, store and forward medical collaboration, communication with patients, telemedicine and hippa

Can Telemedicine Support Medical Collaboration in Long Term Care?

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Wed, May 28, 2014 @ 08:31 AM

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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
  • Nurse
  • Home care aide or other caregiver
  • Cardiologist
  • Physician
  • Therapists
  • Wound Care Nurse
  • Family

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:

ClickCare Quick Guide to Medical Collaboration


Image courtesy of moregoodfoundation on Flickr, used under Creative Commons rights.

Tags: telemedicine, coordinated care, care coordination, medical collaboration, communication with patients, patient satisfaction, assisted living, senior care

Opportunities for Medical Collaboration in Long Term Care

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Thu, Apr 03, 2014 @ 07:33 AM

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It may be a cliché to say that "two heads are better than one" but it's a cliché because it's true. In fact, "putting our heads together" with other medical providers has been one of the best parts of our career. It's good medicine and it's good for us as medical providers -- almost across the board. In particular, though, we find medical collaboration crucial when:

  • There are several different providers that need to coordinate care for a single patient
  • Length of stay and readmissions are key metrics for the organization
  • There are providers at different points in the spectrum of care who need to communicate and ring-in on care (e.g., an aide, a nurse, and a specialist)
  • A single patient may have several, intersecting medical issues

Medical collaboration can greatly help the interdisciplinary team formulate their care plans. When we speak with Long Term Care leaders about telemedicine and medical collaboration, they often express prioritization of all of the above.

That's why we believe that there are significant opportunities in Long Term Care Communities to use medical collaboration, including:
  • Better patient care. When providers collaborate effectively, it prompts better care coordination, fewer delays in care, and more nuanced treatment plans. And when those things happen, better care is the result. 

  • Cutting risk. Risk management is a big part of Long Term Care communities. Because the prioritization of patient independence is fundamental to their work, there is always a balancing of risk with wanting to avoid unnecessary interventions. Medical collaboration can effectively cut risk by providing the reassurance of multiple provider opinions.

  • Improved patient satisfaction. Patients and families are happier when patients stay off the examining table. Because medical collaboration can avoid unnecessary visits to the doctor and because it can improve communication with patients and their families, it often also increases satisfaction. 

  • Decrease healthcare provider burnout. Studies show that the more isolated that providers feel, the more burned out they become. So beyond all the patient benefits, medical collaboration also benefits providers by helping them feel connected and supported.

  • Compliance with regulatory issues. Good medical collaboration and care coordination cuts length of stay and slashes readmissions -- so it will also help Long Term Care facilities keep their community members in their homes and lives -- and out of the hospital.

It doesn't matter whether you collaborate via Hybrid Store-and-Forward telemedicine because it's the easiest way to go -- or whether you use lower-tech means. The important thing is to look for ways to collaborate, even if it's a little at a time.


To get our free guide on collaboration -- with stories from the front lines of collaboration in real life click here:


ClickCare Quick Guide to Medical Collaboration

 


Image courtesy of christianacare on Flickr, used under Creative Commons rights.

Tags: telemedicine, coordinated care, care coordination, communication with patients, patient satisfaction, decrease readmissions, decrease length of stay, interdisciplinary care, long term care

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