What to Look for When Selecting Care Team Coordination Software
COVID-19 has underscored the many IT challenges the healthcare industry faces, including around care team coordination.
During a patient surge, providers are working in unfamiliar environments with unintuitive technology, hindering interprofessional collaboration. Putting aside the impact this has on physician burnout, alert fatigue, and patient experience, poor interprofessional collaboration also can impact a hospital’s bottom line.
To address these challenges, hospitals and health systems have looked to technology to create a more streamlined approach to care. It is imperative that these organizations select care team coordination software that promotes communication across care teams without adding increased administrative burdens on physicians, clinicians and IT teams. So what should healthcare leaders look for when selecting care team coordination software for the COVID and post-COVID era?
- Mobility — While technology has made mobile access to information easier in most industries, mobile access to patient records, PACS images, and other valuable healthcare information has lagged. Obtaining ready access to patient information is not only a challenge between provider organizations with different EHR systems – the barriers to interoperability have long been documented – it also can be an issue for clinicians within the four walls of a hospital. Most modern EHRs are hardwired within the hospital, forcing clinicians to find an available workstation – on a cart, or at the nursing station, or in a patient room – in order to review or enter data into the patient record, or share information electronically with others on the care team. Enabling access on a provider’s phone or tablet is a giant step forward.
- Revenue Cycle Integration — Missing and unassigned charges are a huge issue in the healthcare setting, especially given the financial impact of COVID-19 on hospitals and practices. These lost charges can cost providers millions of dollars each year. If you think of billers and coders as administrative extensions of the care team (which in fact they are), it stands to reason that a collaboration solution should seamlessly integrate with existing revenue cycle technology to streamline communication between billers, coders, and providers.
- Reach Across the Care Team — Even as healthcare organizations adopt new communications solutions, without reaching across the full care team — physicians, nurses, other ancillary clinicians, revenue cycle and office administrative staff — the full potential of the technology will not be realized. Solutions need to provide relevant patient information, in context, to arm care team members with all the information necessary to ensure continuity of patient care.
Once organizations have selected care team coordination software, leaders must find ways to measure an implementation’s impact on inter-professional collaboration and, ultimately, the quality of care.
Interested in learning how prioritizing care team coordination software can impact your health system? See if our Clinical Communication Suite is right for your organization.