Large urban hospitals built integrated communities of care by buying or creating most of the necessary pieces. As community hospitals form integrated communities of care, most will not have that luxury. Community hospitals will own some clinical practices and affiliate with others. Skilled nursing and long-term care facilities will also be a mix of affiliated and owned. The result is a variety of technology platforms that may be prohibitively expensive to replace.
All along the care cycle, both patients and providers will encounter delays or missteps resulting from poor communication between systems and individuals. These gaps in care transitions cause significant problems for community hospitals and lead to a less than satisfactory patient experience. In addition to gaps in care transitions, manual processes that require more touches can also bog down the continuity of care.
Providers can vastly improve communication and coordination of care between their clinics' patients and hospitals by introducing digital communications tools.
For example, a recent study showed that a web-based scheduling referral solution effectively finalizes scheduling while reducing the burdens placed on hospital staff. While other studies claim that digitally managed testing and procedures can make patient referrals from owned or non-owned clinics easier, faster, and more convenient, thus keeping revenue within your hospital.
Why a Digital Care Coordination Solution?
Digital healthcare solutions that support scheduling or referrals can easily bridge common gaps between clinics and hospitals. These electronic solutions are also affordable and straightforward to implement, resulting in immediate returns on operating dollars.
Web-based applications enable providers to improve care coordination by tracking scheduling requests and simplifying front-end functions like pre-authorizations, medical necessity, and appropriate use criteria (AUC). They also perform as a highly effective solution for capturing patient visits with immediacy, rather than allowing them to walk out with a paper order.
Once a patient leaves your facility with a paper order, you open yourself up to uncertainty. What if the patient never schedules their test/procedure? Or even worse, what if they schedule their visit outside of your network. Hospitals report up to 20 percent of revenue lost due to gaps or inefficiencies in their referrals processes.
Effective Care Coordination is a Sign of Value
Improving care coordination—such as simplifying patient referrals—is ultimately about improving the overall quality of care provided. Increasing transparency, reducing operational inefficiencies, and enhancing existing processes—all of these factors add value to healthcare organizations both large and small. Those values are then easily passed on to the patient experience.
So how can clinics and hospitals improve on this workflow?
Streamline the continuity of care with MEDHOST
At MEDHOST, our care coordination solution, YourCare ContinuumÒ, streamlines the entire process for patients and providers.
From the beginning, YourCare Continuum offers both parties more visibility into the order referral process and eliminates unnecessary back-and-forth. When patients present, our web-based platform automatically identifies elements that need to be checked for accurate completion of financial verification, such as medical necessity and pre-authorization.
In addition, YourCare Continuum automatically transfers any requested order referrals, eliminating the need to create encounters manually. Once orders have resulted, that information updates within the facility’s clinic solution and MEDHOST Patient Portal, which gives both patients and providers a 365 view of a record.
Ensuring care coordination between patients and their providers moves in an efficient, streamlined fashion is crucial, especially in the early stages of the healthcare journey.
Using digital platforms to consolidate and automate many of the more common elements of care coordination, you can add efficiency to the process. A digital solution also reduces manual human touches, eliminating costly delays and freeing up more time for other duties.
To learn more about YourCare Continuum and how MEDHOST digital care coordination solutions can help add value to your facility, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.800.383.6278.