Better Coordinated Care
A growing proportion of patients are in contact with a multiplicity of different professionals and agencies with no clearly defined person leading care. Without effective coordination there is a significant risk of duplication or neglect, and the experience of care will be poor. Across many industries digital technologies have been used to successfully streamline and better coordinate complex services — the same is increasingly true in healthcare. Shared health and social care records can be linked to give a 360-degree view of patients and their situation. This shared perspective can support multidisciplinary teams working together and improve their clinical decision making. This may be particularly important in cases where lifestyle and environmental factors play a significant role in a patient’s overall health status. If all healthcare professionals have access to all patient information in real time there is significant potential to expedite necessary care and to reduce waste in the system, such as the duplication of tests.
Supporting integrated care for patients with diabetes: Western Diabetes Institute and ClickMedix, US The Western Diabetes Institute is an “integrated practice unit” in California which co-locates multiple services needed by patients with diabetes. Partnering with ClickMedix, they are using a range of cross-specialty services including patient engagement tools and self-assessments, tele-consultation with a network of specialists, and real-time outcome monitoring. By sharing reports and care plans between the patient and multiple providers they have significantly improved glycaemic control levels, as well making treatment planning quicker and more cost-effective. ClickMedix suggest that physicians are able to consult with 4–10 times more patients with their system, while at the same time there has been a 50–90 percent reduction in hospital visits for patients with multiple chronic diseases.