By Steve Simmons, marketing and business analysis manager, eCare Vault.
Care coordination by definition is a strategy that is focused on bringing together the multiple parties of a patient’s care team to knock down barriers of communication in order to enable the best outcomes for your patients.
However, by doing so, your healthcare organization stands to see significant savings on your bottom line. Here are a few ways we’ve seen care coordination can nurture the financial health of your organization:
Reducing Unnecessary Additional Treatments
When providers aren’t on the same page the result is additional tests and treatment for patients that could have been avoided otherwise. Gaps of information in patient care are common since providers across separate organizations rarely communicate with each other on what types of care they are providing for their patients.
As a patient, very rarely will you go against the advice of a physician or specialist, as their job is to provide you with the care to live as healthy of a life as possible.
This drives up costs exponentially across the entire continuum of care, and subsequently, providers and patients end up spending more for treatment that could be avoided in the first place. Proper coordination across multiple organizations can help patient care team members collaborate on the exact types of care and testing that is being administered to patients, helping to streamline the care that patients receive and reduce costs across altogether.
Reducing Physician Burnout To Preventing Costly Staff Turnover
With less communication and collaboration, physicians, nurses, practitioners, caregivers, and allied health professionals are forced to work and operate in silos, the consequences of which can affect not only the financial health of the clinic but the type of care patients receive.
The added stress and decrease in personal achievement for all roles mean less motivation and more cognitive impairment, which leads to a lesser quality of care, mistakes in care, and worse outcomes for patients. For organizations, burnout eventually results in staff either quitting or being fired for inadequate performance, which means recruiting, hiring and training new staff.
The costs associated with this can range from $2,500 or even more than $100,000 for higher-level positions within the clinic, hospital, home healthcare agency and every place in between.
Care coordination helps prevent this, as it empowers meaningful working relationships both internally and across organizations, helping multiple care team members strive toward the goal of providing the best care for the patient or client.
It allows your staff to break free from redundant work that can be accomplished in a fraction of the time, streamlines workflow management, and reduces operational inefficiencies across the board – giving your employees the power to operate at the top of their license, saving your organization thousands to millions of dollars of budget in the process.
Diminishing Costs of Medical Errors
Costs related to avoidable medical errors in the United States are estimated at an average of $17 billion dollars per year across hospitals and clinics. Unfortunately, the two areas this happens most frequently are post-acute care and follow-up treatment for surgery.
Gaps in care and information between multiple providers, as well as patients and clients themselves, results in a lack of knowledge for all parties, and in effect, cause medical errors and harm. For instance, multiple providers could prescribe two different types of medication for a patient, that when combined, can have adverse effects or even put the patient’s life at risk.
Through open communication and care team collaboration, providers can advise each other on the best strategies moving forward and be on the same page and error can be avoided at all costs. These tips are just a few of the ways that care coordination plays in enabling better outcomes for patients, but for your physician group or health system to see real value and ROI for your care coordination efforts.
Is your health system or physician group struggling to implement successful care coordination strategies? Have you started but are finding that your efforts are fruitless thus far?