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What is care collaboration?

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Proper and effective medical care often involves multiple providers as well as the patient and the patient’s family. Coordinating that care can mean the difference in the quality and consistency of the patient’s healthcare plan. Communication is a key factor in care collaboration, whether electronic or in person.

In care collaboration, physicians communicate and coordinate with each other to ensure they are treating the patient appropriately. Providers communicate and coordinate with the patient and the patient’s caregivers to ensure that instructions are being followed properly.

The AMA states that collaborative teams “are defined by their dedication to providing patient-centered care, protecting the integrity of the patient-physician relationship, sharing mutual respect and trust, communicating effectively, sharing accountability and responsibility, and upholding common ethical values as team members.”

Care collaboration can be beneficial in crisis situations as well. Researchers at the University of Michigan have found that a collaborative team-based approach, along with the use of medication assisted therapy (MAT), can have a significant impact on the rate of opioid addiction in the US. The researchers found that “many of the two million Americans addicted to opioids can receive treatment and assistance in getting off prescription painkillers or heroin from a primary care team.”

Additionally, a study published by the AMIA Annual Symposium, the authors stated that “experts have agreed that more collaborative, team-based care will be required to meet the increasing burden of chronic disease.”

Collaboration through the use of advantaged technology significantly improves the quality of care coordination by helping to ensure the accuracy of the information being shared as well as speeding up the process by which it is shared. Taking advantage of collaborative health record technology can help with the physician’s main focus – providing the highest quality care for patients.

Elation’s Collaborative Health Record (CHR) enables providers to immediately share updates so that all providers caring for the patient can take action based on the most up-to-date clinical information. Most importantly, the CHR closes care gaps. Providers can decrease duplicative testing and avoid medication errors with uninterrupted communication. Timely sharing of patient information helps ensure care is as efficient and as effective as possible.