Joining a clinically integrated network (CIN) is a smart option for healthcare organizations looking to improve their quality of patient care while remaining cost-effective. Joining a network of other healthcare providers in your area gives you more access to resources and support as you work toward a common goal.
Of course, joining or creating a CIN is no small task. You must seamlessly integrate different systems, then use the data you gather to improve workflows and add value for your patients. That’s why you must be equipped with the right tools for success.
Here are the six elements your organization needs to implement a successful CIN:
1. Data Library
Your data library, which is often known by other terms like data warehouse, data lake or data store, is like the hammer in your toolbox. It’s the foundational instrument your CIN relies on to provide efficient care for your patients and connect with other organizations in your network. The data library includes your Electronic Medical Record system (EMR), but sits above your EMR data since it contains clinical data and more.
According to Harvard Business Review, a “plan-centric” data library should include care strategies that cover a wide range of situations and team support. By housing information such as clinical notes, test results, medications and support for in-home devices, the data library becomes the primary source of information for CIN members to ensure a patient’s care is consistent no matter who is treating them.
2. Orders Management
If the data library is the hammer, orders management is the sandpaper. It smooths workflows to ensure new test orders and diagnostic procedures are sent to the right physicians in the CIN. It also allows test results to be transmitted quickly and securely. While this may seem like a back-end process, when done correctly it creates a seamless experience for the patient as well.
An integrated orders management system ensures critical patient information and treatment occurs quickly and is not bogged down by missing test results or repeat procedures.
3. Population Health Management
Long after your CIN is created, it’s important to continue using your tools to engage with the community. That, of course, includes monitoring patient health. Consider population health management as your tape measure. It will show you the growth of your CIN in regard to improving the quality of patient care and help you identify areas of improvement. With this tool, you can size up potential programs to meet the needs of member practice patients.
4. Patient Engagement
Next to a hammer, a screwdriver is one of the most important tools. For CINs, patient engagement does this job, connecting the people who receive care with those who provide it. According to the latest survey by the Journal of Family Medicine and Disease Prevention, the most common reason patients miss appointments is because they forgot the date or were unsure about it. Sending appointment reminders (via text message, phone call or email) is ideal for solving this problem.
However, patient engagement doesn’t end once their appointment is over. Sending follow-up notifications, submitting data to the patient portal and receiving feedback are all important for building trust and a relationship that will benefit their care continuum.
Promoting your CIN may not feel like a priority, but it’s important to the longevity of your network. Like a wrench, marketing can be used to tighten up the relationship with the members of the CIN. It can also be adjusted to work on recruiting non-members. Similarly, you should keep existing members informed of the current status of the system, as well as any new initiatives, to ensure everyone is on the same page.
That kind of effort for the greater patient and provider community, including explaining the benefits of the system, can drive them to become active members of your network.
6. CIN Administration
A CIN is only as strong as its members, just like a toolbox is only as strong as its casing. A good toolbox serves to not only store the tools but also to keep them organized. Therefore, it’s important to continue selectively recruiting new members while retaining your current ones. Medical Economics notes that when establishing and expanding your CIN, you should limit participation to ensure that the providers who join fully understand what being part of the network requires, and that they are committed to working toward the common goal.
You should also continuously collect and report on data to ensure administration is meeting objectives and maintaining compliance with regulations.
Your tools work best when integrated
Of course, these aren’t the only tools you should utilize. Like any good toolbox, you also need smaller tools in the form of device support and bio-metric screening to help reach your ultimate goal.
To build your CIN, all of these tools should be used simultaneously to deliver the best results. This means they must be integrated, which is no easy task. When it comes time to assemble your toolbox, trust the experts at Tangible Solutions for help. Our team understands the organizational and technical support CINs need to succeed. Contact us today to learn more.