Mr. Johnson recently went to his primary care doctor with ongoing chest pain. He saw his provider, underwent a series of tests, received inconclusive results, and was sent home.
The pain persisted, so he returned to the clinic after a few days. His primary care physician then referred him to a local cardiologist, who performed an exploratory heart catheter that uncovered a 99 percent blockage in LAD. He underwent surgery to receive a stent and is well on his way to recovery.
The Dilemma—According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “Six in ten Americans live with at least one chronic disease, like heart disease and stroke, cancer, or diabetes. These and other chronic conditions are the leading causes of death and disability in America, and they are also a leading driver of healthcare costs.” The CDC goes on to say that these staggering statistics could be significantly reduced with simple preventative measures, such as better eating habits and exercise routines.
The Definition— Because of this, the healthcare industry has increasingly turned its focus to coordinated care as a means of preventing and managing these types of chronic conditions to ultimately lower healthcare expenses.
“Coordinated care” is a vague term. There is no single definition, making it somewhat ambiguous for patients and providers alike. At its core, coordinated care involves collaboration between patients, providers, and other such entities to establish clear objectives to achieve safer and more effective outcomes.
The Collaboration—From the time he discovered his blockage to surgery, Mr. Johnson met with a cardiologist who helped determine the best method to remedy the problem. The cardiologist’s staff scheduled surgery, and the hospital called shortly thereafter to verify insurance eligibility. The hospital then provided Mr. Johnson with prescriptions, which could be forwarded to the hospital pharmacy, if Mr. Johnson so chose.
Once the surgery was performed, the cardiologist returned Mr. Johnson’s information to his primary care physician to keep both groups on the same page. His cardiologist and provider plan to indefinitely continue this flow of information to ensure Mr. Johnson receives ongoing care, which will hopefully help him avoid a similar health scare in the future.
The Solutions—This collaborative process can be accelerated with the increased use of electronic health record (EHR) systems. With an EHR, those clinics overseeing Mr. Johnson’s care can set automated reminders to encourage him to undergo preventive testing. They can also establish tasks to regularly send patient education information, and they can better store and access information about his specific case.
The Takeaway—As in the case of Mr. Johnson, effective coordinated care can determine life or death. Contact us today to see how the PCIS GOLD® Single Source Solution can help you better educate patients, streamline collaboration efforts, and ultimately improve the lives of your patients.