Why coordinated primary care is the key to helping chronically ill patients

A recent study published in the Annals of Family Medicine noted that among 11 high-income countries, the United States had the highest rate of primary care coordination gaps. The results of this study also showed that patients under 65 years and patients with chronic conditions were the most likely to experience poor primary care coordination.

“These results suggest that increased efforts to support relationships between patients and their PCPs are required and that new programs should be designed for a younger, chronically ill population to enhance care coordination,” the authors of the report wrote.

Care coordination, specifically in primary care, involves “deliberately organizing patient care activities and sharing information among all of the participants concerned to achieve safer and more effective care,” according to the research.

A lack of care coordination comes in many different shapes and forms; from doctors receiving conflicting information or not having timely access to information to physicians collaborating on a patient’s care not all being up-to-date about the care received from those within a care team.

Elation understands the frustration and the need for better physician tools for coordinated care. Tackling this issue means enabling physicians to connect and share patient information, and putting the patient’s data at the center of the interaction.

The study supports the need to allow physicians to easily share patient data, coordinate care in real time and put the patient record at the center of care.

“Effective primary care coordination programs have been shown to reduce hospitalizations, but require patients to have frequent contact with healthcare professionals and to anticipate needs and communicate information to the right people at the right time,” the researchers said.

We’ve manifested this methodology into tangible parts of our Clinical EHR. Features ranging from electronic faxing and letters to DIRECT Messaging, the Elation Provider Network, and the Collaborative Health Record all contribute to improving care coordination head-on.

Closing care gaps requires more than just a technical investment, however. Elation’s commitment spans across its entire mission to build a patient-centered EHR.

“A continuous relationship between a patient and his or her physician has often been encouraged to enhance care coordination. Optimizing this relationship has been shown to increase patient satisfaction and medication adherence, and reduce hospitalizations,” the researchers recommended.

Using a technology platform that deeply respects that the heart of healthcare is the doctor-patient relationship can play a significant role in not only improving care coordination but also strengthening this relationship. This is Elation’s mission, and we look forward to continuing to serve our customers with this philosophy as our guide.

Interested in learning more about Elation’s crusade to improve care coordination?