Many health care organizations focus on patient engagement when looking for ways to lower costs and improve outcomes. An engaged patient population is more informed about their health and can thus make better decisions moving forward. The other side of the coin, then, is physician collaboration. The more involved physicians are in communicating with patients and following new regulations, the more effective the overall organization will become.
Information sharing and cloud computing are two primary ways to make physician collaboration efforts more effective. By taking some of the technical work out of the problem, physicians can focus on treating patients while becoming more involved in health information best practices at the same time.
The benefits of physician collaboration reach every aspect of the organization. Here are a few key ways that improved collaboration helps medical practices and other care providers:
Improved financial protection
With the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), quality of care and revenue are becoming more intertwined than ever. The better outcomes an organization can provide, the better protected their revenue will be. For practice administrators, MACRA makes it vital that physicians are fully engaged with new best practices.
As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid fully implement MACRA, there could be increased penalties for patient re-admittance. If hospitals set the goal of reducing re-admittance rates by improving quality of care, they will need to work on physician collaboration. That could mean using an EHR system to connect with patients as well as the patient’s providers.
Better patient outcomes through enhanced communication
Collaboration needs to be a part of a physician’s daily schedule, not an afterthought. Becker’s Hospital Review noted that many administrators have very little experience in managing physicians – and that problem can grow if doctors have previously been a part of a practice where management was minimal. An integrated solution can help physicians adhere to policies without cutting into their daily routine very much.
“Lack of communication is a barrier to physician collaboration.”
Technology solutions such as connected EMR systems can help physicians communicate with other care providers, check in on patients and do so in a manner that won’t hinder their daily tasks. The goal is to be able to spend more face-to-face time with each patient when they come for a visit. An EMR cuts down on the time it takes to retrieve necessary information about each patient – even if they’re coming from another organization.
Speaking with the University of Iowa, Dr. Paul Kleeberg noted that lack of communication is one of the biggest barriers to physician collaboration. Practice administrators need to make themselves visible and available to physicians when implementing changes within the organization.
At the end of the day, improved physician collaboration leads to lower costs, fewer regulatory risks and better quality of care. By keeping an eye on communication and using technology solutions, improving physician collaboration is an achievable goal for administrators in any organization.