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Integrated Healthcare Demands Require Interoperability

02/28/2017

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To improve patient health while subsequently reducing the costs of healthcare, providers need to keep people out of hospital. However, with this growing need for integrated healthcare and social care, it could be difficult because of the challenges put on existing models of healthcare.

This turns focus to the Continuum of Care. 

According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the Continuum of Care is “a concept involving a system that guides and tracks patients over time through a comprehensive array of health services spanning all levels and intensity of care.”

HIMSS further explains that the Continuum of Care covers the delivery of healthcare over a period of time, and may refer to care provided from birth to end of life and include all healthcare services provided for all levels and stages of care. 

In the past, this relationship was mainly between the payer and the provider, with the patient as a passive recipient. However, technology and a shift in the population’s expectations of the level of care provided to them have created a new continuum of care.

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This new matrix is much more complex, comprised of general practitioners, hospitals, health commissioners, insurers, community clinicians, mental health services, schools, social services, home care providers, occupational health, police services, and other agencies that work with patients. It also includes patients themselves, with self-management of conditions through technology such as healthcare apps. 

The agencies and organizations listed above manage their interactions with patients through different systems. Because information resides outside core HIT applications throughout the healthcare organization, clinicians and staff rarely have the information they need at the moment they need it. However, this is in direct contrast of the continuum of care’s core needs. 

These entities need to be able to share information in order to support better health and wellbeing. Although the social, economic, and political aspects of this challenge are quite significant, technology is key in bridging the gap and delivering new models of integrated healthcare.

OnBase for healthcare helps deliver the information that is needed when it’s needed, and is made readily available to clinicians and staff within the healthcare software solutions they already use and know. This drives improvements in patient care and service, while improving medical data management and reducing operational costs.

OnBase allows healthcare providers to look at the entire continuum to solve problems of inefficiencies, eliminate information silos and create a single, central repository for all clinical, administrative and financial content.

Contact LBMC Technology Solutions to discuss how you can provide integrated healthcare to your patients. 

Read this case study to learn how one healthcare company uses a case management solution to maintain client relationships and support retention.