How Technology Focused on Care Delivery and the Patient Experience Creates Healthier Communities

Guest post by James Calanni, J.D., MBA, chief technology officer, Community Health Partnership.

Jim Calanni

As the healthcare landscape evolves, today’s community health providers are in a unique position to design new care delivery initiatives that can support healthier individuals, families, and communities, powered by adopting innovative technology tools. According to a study on factors influencing healthcare service quality, published in the International Journal of Health Policy and Management, healthcare outcomes are enhanced when patients and healthcare providers collaborate in a supportive environment.

Care coordination is a vital component in improving the delivery of patient-centered healthcare and social services. This is especially true for high-risk populations, such as those going through transitions of care and those who belong to certain populations. Transitions of care include the time period around hospital discharge or transfer to a new healthcare setting, such as a long-term care facility or home health. These transitions leave at-risk patients vulnerable to loss of continuity of healthcare.

Populations requiring additional considerations include homeless, children in foster care and patients who over-utilize the emergency department for non-emergencies, to name a few. The goal of care coordination for these populations is to anticipate needs, collaborate with all providers of services, and to coordinate the wide array of health, social and supportive services for each group. The main goal is to improve the quality of care while avoiding costly hospital admissions and re-admissions.

To help optimize critical coordination efforts, technology solutions can help the entire care team of providers in various locations collaborate across the care continuum, raising awareness of an individual’s physical, behavioral, and social factors and driving whole-person care. Organizations like Community Health Partnership (CHP) – a Colorado Springs-based collaborative of local health providers – aim to align many care management activities throughout the community.

Here are some strategies healthcare providers and organizations should consider when designing innovative care delivery initiatives:

Healthcare reform continues to drive communities to be accountable for delivery of timely and quality services and improve patient outcomes. We expect this pressure to accelerate as the Federal Government pushes more responsibility for healthcare down to the States. Our response at CHP has been to implement innovative models of collaboration. We are setting an example of how organizations can use technology to more effectively work together. By improving the patient experience through seamless whole-person care coordination, organizations like CHP can help physicians, behavioral health providers and hospitals improve care quality and control healthcare costs.

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