In an age of healthcare where hospitals are struggling with rising costs and changing reimbursement structures, incremental fixes have been introduced, including attacking fraud, reducing errors, and even a move towards population health to tackle the problem. However, much of these strategies have not made the impact that was expected of them. Add to that the pressure for data transparency, new technology, and evolving regulations organizations have been forced to look at their operations, leverage the resources they have, and automating where they can to maximize efficiencies. In some cases, hospitals have found that shifting focus to the patient by moving towards a value-based care structure, has provided a strong starting point for minimizing costs. Here are 4 ways things you can do to improve inpatient care.
Improve Clinical Care Coordination
Improving clinical care coordination sounds scarier than it is, but it can be as simple as looking at how your team currently coordinates with one another and then filling in the gaps, or even removing redundancies. In the end, you should have a workflow that supports interdisciplinary care that not only helps you communicate better but also builds pathways that help clinical processes within your EMR.
Streamline Discharge Efficiency
In the August 2005 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, found that that 72 percent of patients were unable to list the names of all their medications, while nearly 58 percent were unable to state their diagnoses. This isn’t a failure of knowledge, the fault lies with caregivers. Understandably, in an already time-starved industry taking time out to thoroughly explain each and every medication and diagnosis in detail can be extremely time-consuming. However, ensuring patients are discharged properly can decrease the probability that they’ll return to the hospital. As such, thinking of ways for departments to work together and developing protocols to follow is essential.
Standardize Clinical Communication
An ongoing struggle in healthcare is proper communication and handoffs. Developing a process in which the entire organization can follow will leave little room for questions and save time. Most of all, proper communication leave little room for error when caring for and discharging patients.
Develop an Interdisciplinary Plan of Care
Often times, hospital communication is scattered with different owners, or worse, are outdated. Building an interdisciplinary plan of care, a one-stop-shop if you will, where staff can go and ensure that the information not only supports the above tactics but also offers the peace of mind that it is current and accurate.
Healthcare is constantly evolving with the same end goal in mind–reducing costs by maximizing efficiencies. However, you choose to look at the problem or approach it, whatever you might identify as the culprit, in the end, there is one truth and that is at the very core healthcare organizations and their staff are there to serve patients. At the end of the day, dollar and cents are important but it can’t be the starting point of how we tackle the issue. Let’s focus on bringing value to patients, improving care and quality in order to reduce costs and gain productivity in healthcare.
To discover more about how improving operational efficiencies and driving value can help your organization, watch our fireside chat with Jordan Harmon, Managing Director, HSS Center for the Advancement of Value in Musculoskeletal Care, Hospital for Special Surgery and Kevin Meek, President, Meek Clinical Partners. In this chat, Jordan and Kevin discuss:
- Embracing technology to eliminate policy chaos
- Enhancing staff productivity and overall operational efficiencies
- Improving patient safety and quality with faster access to policies from anywhere
- How crosswalking policies and procedures to accreditation agencies is the key to compliance readiness