The healthcare industry in the united states is far from perfect and a lot more attention needs to be put towards Addressing the Issues of Healthcare Needs. There are many ways to address these issues and healthcare organizations that want to get ahead need to start somewhere. For example, one major issue in the healthcare industry is the obstacles that occur during transition of care. Transition of care means discharging a patient and sending them home or to another care facility. There are tools to help transition of care go more smoothly. The IDEAL is one of them. The IDEAL is a discharge planning strategy that helps ensure parents and families have the information and skills required to take care of themselves when they leave the hospital. Quality improvement techniques such as process or value-stream mapping may be helpful in identifying bottlenecks and inefficiencies in discharge practices. Fostering proper collaboration and communication during transitions of care is critically important.
Below we discuss the ways healthcare organizations and clinicians can address the issues in healthcare by taking steps in different areas
Addressing the Issues of Healthcare Needs
Healthcare organizations need to work towards empowering patients and patients families to help them design a more integrated and responsive healthcare system. When it comes to getting raw information on what is working well in a healthcare organization and what isn’t, patients and their families are one of the best sources- if not the best ever. healthcare organization needs to integrate patient families into their improvement processes and seek their advice. This should be done not just in a tacit manner but it should be well and fully documented for future references. Hospitals should work with patients and their families as advisors
Healthcare organizations need to make integration a strategic policy priority. These policies should be made collaboratively and the ability to integrate and achievements of the team should be, measured regularly. Integration also means fostering relationships with other organizations, care providers, suppliers, vendors, stakeholders, and corporations. This kind of integration can lead to the development of innovative ways of doing things. When an organization is too closed off and homogenous, they would be unable to come up with new and fresh ideas on how to deal with their issues and problems and how to move the organization forward. Partnering with external organizations and entities with a similar or shared vision expands the reach of the organization beyond what they would normally have been able to do. Collaborative partnerships can also help improve care coordination and a patient-centered care system. In order to improve integration, measurement is a critical starting place. Metrics should be linked to a larger organizational or system-wide strategy where possible so that there are clear lines of accountability for performance. Besides healthcare organization, policymakers still need to get involved in the process of fostering integration. Policymakers could develop systems of incentives to organizations who choose to work together, collaborate, and integrate care.
Another aspect about integration in the healthcare industry is integrating care into large delivery systems. When care is integrated into large delivery systems, patients can get most of their care in one place and there is a lesser probability of overlap and provision of duplicate services. Each care center should be able to deliver excellent care to a good number of conditions without having to send the patient to another facility or without the patient needing to go through different departments and stages of delivery. Minor illnesses that a common, more predictable and quite common can and should be delivered in lower cost care centers within the communities. While more complex cases can be attended to in the more advanced care centers. When a system is properly integrated, the right patients end up in the right locations and this leads to an enhancement in quality of care and in cost.
Another major aspect of the healthcare industry is the area of reimbursement. Healthcare organizations and healthcare practitioners have to choose between fee-for-service and value-based care. But the truth is the industry, none of these methods of payments are perfect. Reimbursement for services should reflect the actual cost of service provided and also the value of service but there seems to be a lack of consensus in the industry on what should be the right way to reimburse for services. Most hospitalists are already at least conceptually comfortable with being held accountable for the cost and quality of certain patient types, including reducing unnecessary variation and spending and avoiding preventable complications.
Healthcare organizations and healthcare systems need to focus on getting patients to get their care from the right locations. Other countries have their cities divided up into sections that tell residents where to go to receive care. The industry needs to better inform patients on where they need to go. Patients do not necessarily have to receive care in places closer to them. Especially since hospital length of stay is now significantly shorter than it used to be. Healthcare systems need to steer patients to the best care delivery site, even if it is not near their homes. Some large employers have started reimbursing patients and their families for the cost associated with traveling to the correct site of care. With the availability of easy, low-cost travel options, this can and should be feasible for most patients and their families. However, patients should ensure that their insurance providers cover any such reimbursements related to traveling for care before they embark on it.