Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tying it All Together

Everywhere you turn, headlines proclaim that health care is changing at the speed of light. That’s why I was intrigued at a recent article that asked, “Is hospital management stuck in the stone age?”

The blog post raises a topic that many hospital leaders struggle with today: effective care coordination. The writer emphasizes the need to bridge the gap between acute and post-acute care. Unfortunately, if that’s the whole of an organization’s care coordination strategy, they may find they’ve evolved only as far as the medieval times.
I believe that we need to look at the coordination of care holistically. We need to link the outpatient environment with both the acute care and post-acute care environments. 

Our industry leaders need to thoughtfully strategize about how we keep people healthy and out of the hospital. Our ability to take care of a community is tied to their home and work environments and we need to coordinate health and wellness services that focus on teaching people how to make better decisions in their lives — from exercise to diet to monitoring their health status on a regular basis. Of course, when a patient comes into the hospital, management of their care will begin immediately. However, it needs to be recognized as part of a much larger patient-centered system of care.  

My hope is that our industry moves away from a vertical and segmented approach of care coordination to a community of providers that tie together the outpatient, inpatient and post-acute care environments.

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