Behavioral health patients often experience comorbid conditions, so effective care coordination is critical to achieve higher patient engagement and satisfaction, lowered healthcare costs and, most importantly, better patient outcomes.
One of the biggest problems currently facing effective coordinated care is the need for collaboration between multiple providers and organizations, often in both private, public and non-health care sectors. Care team members often fail to coordinate with others in deciding the best course of action for the patient. However, as the world continues to become more digital, participants in a patient’s care have an increasingly effective tool in assisting coordination and helping to improve the life of the patient.
How Technology Helps Care Coordination
Care coordination is a team effort that requires the collaboration of the healthcare professionals and agencies involved in a patient’s care, but disagreements over treatment approaches are not uncommon. Healthcare information technology, such as electronic health records (EMRS), can streamline communication pathways and promote more collaborative decision making to better support a patient’s health goals.
To establish strong communication pathways and collaboration between all members of a patient’s care team, highly interoperable systems must be in place. Through technologies like a dedicated patient care platform and EMRs, the key players in a patient’s care can easily access and share health information through a central location with users in disparate care settings, helping to close gaps in care coordination that can potentially become harmful to the patient if left unaddressed.
When there is little collaboration and interoperability in care management, an agency may only fulfill the need of their individual role instead of focusing on the comprehensive needs of the patient. This approach can jeopardize health outcomes.
With interoperable platforms as a central hub of patient information, the participants in a patient’s care (and the patient themselves) have the resources to make well-informed decisions focused on the patient’s health goals, as opposed to solely the specific role of one clinician or organization. The streamlined workflow efficiencies that information technology can provide further enables patient-centered care by simplifying and optimizing the process of monitoring a patient’s evolving needs.
Patients need the tools to play a central role in the decision-making process and to be able to advocate for themselves when they feel that something is not being addressed. Through digital healthcare platforms, care providers can offer educational resources or directly provide clinical knowledge to boost a patient’s health literacy.
Equipped with knowledge of both their condition and treatment options, patients will be able to better express their wishes when it comes to their care, keeping them at the center of care coordination and leading to improved health outcomes
Better Care Coordination with iTether
iTether is helping improve the lives of behavioral health patients and their providers with a digital care platform built to encourage meaningful connections. With iTether, patients and care team members can access the critical information they need and together, can establish a clear plan that’s completely based on collaboration and the needs of the patient. Contact us today to find out the specific ways our technology can help you and your patients.