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Continuity of Care: Importance and Challenges


Continuity of care in rural neighborhood
Photo by Author using Wonder Digital Art

If patients are unsure about seeking medical attention, they often rely on the guidance of their doctors. Expand your availability for patients by offering appointments outside of conventional office hours, such as in the early morning, evenings, or on weekends. Additionally, consider providing a way for patients to reach clinicians in your office beyond standard business hours for in-person medical assistance. [2]

Medical records can be accessed securely online, allowing patients more autonomy. This means they can participate in updates when and how they want, without using the phone or going to the office. Patients can also have control over scheduling appointments by using a secure web portal.

Patient monitoring from remote locations has become more prevalent as healthcare expenses keep growing. This service, also known as Remote Physiological Monitoring (RPM), is beneficial when handling individuals who struggle with persistent and acute illnesses. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, RPM comprises "digitally archived collections of physiological data (like glucose monitoring, blood pressure, and EKG) by either the patient or the caregiver transmitted to a home health office."

Various telehealth solutions have grown in popularity due to the pandemic. As a result, healthcare providers have found that RPM is a suitable means of achieving patient engagement and maintaining care consistency.

Outcomes and Patient Engagement: Enhancing Continuity of Care through Strategies that Work.

Consider the benefits of improving patient engagement and explore how technology, particularly telehealth and remote patient monitoring, can help. This comprehensive guide offers an array of proven strategies for enhancing patient engagement and answers to other pertinent questions.

To foster meaningful, patient-centered interactions with their healthcare providers, patients must be encouraged to engage in their care proactively. This approach can lead to more positive medical outcomes and may help minimize healthcare costs. Providing patients with the necessary tools to manage their health and ensuring effective communication channels to connect them to their healthcare team are vital components of fostering this type of active participation. [4]

Participating in shared decision-making is only one aspect of patient engagement, as it also invites patients to manage their health alongside healthcare professionals. It's been shown in numerous studies that activated or engaged patients are more apt to improve their health. [5]

Burdening doctors with administrative tasks and maintaining seamless patient care: Examining the root causes & potential remedies.

In the quest for value-based care, practices face a mounting pile of paperwork related to prescriptions, referrals, insurance, alternative care options, patient portals, claims, and prior authorizations. This paperwork headache is incredibly intense for smaller practices. [6]

The health system in the United States is facing a tough time as it deals with a surge of chronic diseases, escalating expenses for healthcare, and unequal results from patients such as readmission rates, episode of care expenses, and cohesive decision-making between the medical staff and those under their care. Doctors are vital in suggesting and ending different solutions involving multiple interest groups and fostering smooth ongoing care to complete this issue in our health system. To achieve this, there is a necessity for more involvement from the medical community to bring about practices that provide exceptional value.

The dependence of physician practices solely on Medicare or Medicaid for sicker patients arises from emerging competitors creeping up on routine care. As per a survey in August 2020, primary care practices suffered with the closure of 2%, while another 2% were found contemplating bankruptcy. About 10% of those in suggesting and applying different solutions involving methods to encourage remained unsure of their financial solvency for the coming month. [6]

Challenges and Benefits of Patient Engagement and Value-Based Physician Reimbursement.

Delivering higher-value care is a cornerstone of the value-based reimbursement principle, which compels medical practices to offer patients screenings, diagnostics, and similar services to encourage their return. By hitting quality metrics, such services can attract more business into the medical practice, resulting in a win-win scenario.

The future of value-based care may encompass more robust initiatives to involve patients in their healthcare and provide them with independence and command over their well-being. Such a vision could comprise many tools ranging from health applications to monitoring patients' health statistics, permitting them to establish independent connections with their diversified healthcare groups. [8]

As healthcare groups take on more financial risk for overseeing the health of populations, keeping costs controlled and value high is a must. Efficient patient engagement technology, such as remote patient monitoring and telehealth, can improve patient outcomes. This, in turn, curtails instances of readmission and emergency department visits, therefore ratcheting down health system usage and lowering overall costs. [3]

Remote patient care, the burden of physician administration, and the continuation of care: their limits and advantages.

Patients trust primary care physicians to advise them on seeking medical attention. Improve, and they should be available for unique accessibility. Patients expect more than regular office hours, requesting extended care times such as early mornings, evenings, and weekends. Additionally, it is essential that clinicians in your practice can be reached after hours for personal medical services. [2]

Without the hassle of making phone calls or visiting a clinic, patients have the liberty to control their involvement through secure online portals. Whether scheduling appointments or reviewing medical records, granting secure web access gives patients a sense of independence.

Managing patients with chronic and acute conditions have become significantly more manageable with the use of Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) due to the skyrocketing healthcare costs nationwide.

Due to its cost-effectiveness, RPM has garnered support from numerous healthcare providers who prioritize patient-centered care. These providers can monitor their patient's health more diligently with the help of RPM and intervene proactively if needed. By adopting this approach, physicians are better equipped to manage their administrative duties and relieve themselves of the burdensome paperwork and other associated tasks with traditional care.

Rewarding providers for delivering high-quality, cost-effective care is the latest shift in payment models for several payers [14]. To cater to this, remote patient monitoring (RPM) provides physicians convenience and helps deliver efficient healthcare. RPM can substantially minimize hospital admissions with an estimated cost reduction of up to 11 percent. This process also offers a patient-centric approach to care delivery, empowering the healthcare sector to provide comprehensive medical care.

Citation

1. Continuity of Care: Improving Patient Outcomes.https://www.admere.com/amr-blog/continuity-of-care-improving-patient-outcomes Accessed 2023-04-21 2. The Medical Home: Access and Continuity | AAFP.https://www.aafp.org/family-physician/practice-and-career/delivery-payment-models/medical-home/access-and-continuity.html Accessed 2023-04-21 3. The Complete Guide to Patient Engagement.https://www.healthrecoverysolutions.com/resources/eguide/patient-engagement-guide Accessed 2023-04-21 4. Using Patient Engagement Platforms in the Postoperative Management of Patients.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7340698/ Accessed 2023-04-21 5. The role of patient engagement in value-based reimbursement.https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/role-patient-engagement-value-based-reimbursement Accessed 2023-04-21 6. Physicians should be modernizing practice operations.https://www.physicianspractice.com/view/physicians-should-be-modernizing-practice-operations. Accessed 2023-04-21 7. Value-based Healthcare: "Physician Activation": Healthcare Transformation Requires Physician Engagement and Leadership.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7170687/ Accessed 2023-04-21 8. Value-based Care: Its Vision and Virtues.https://www.tytocare.com/resources/blog/value-based-care-its-vision-and-virtues/ Accessed 2023-04-21 9. 3 Digital Solutions That Can Help Increase Patient Engagement.https://www.thoroughcare.net/blog/digital-solutions-increase-patient-engagement Accessed 2023-04-21 10. What is remote patient monitoringRPM can substantially minimize hospital admissions withhttps://docsink.com/what-is-remote-patient-monitoring/ Accessed 2023-04-21

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