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Four questions to answer for better patient care coordination

In many cases, the best way to reduce the occurrence of medical negligence cases is through coordinated patient care. This can help to reduce errors, improve communication and achieve better results for patients.

Where do care teams start when determining a coordinated plan across the continuum of care? 

In a recent MedCity News article, the process of coordinating patient care was likened to a playbook for football. The four questions the author suggests care teams need to answer include:

  • What is the plan? Everyone should be intimately familiar with the care plan and understand the roles they play. In addition to clearly communicating the roles of each team member, the patient and their family, the plan should also include treatment goals, patient preferences, a medical summary and an emergency care plan.
  • What is the state of play? The current status of care should be clear to all team members, especially when responsibilities shift between involved parties. Plain language should be used to allow for quick understanding and quick action.
  • How do we need to adjust the plan to achieve our goal? Given the complexities of patient care, it is normal to reassess and alter the plan as necessary. Changes ideally should be able to happen in real time to respond to patient needs.
  • How do we work together, leveraging the power of the whole team? Develop rules of engagement to ensure everyone is on the same page in  terms of a patient's care plan. Communication is key. 

While developing solid care plans can improve patient outcomes, it won't safeguard you entirely from error - or from any legal action that may result. When defending against accusations of malpractice, however, it may provide evidence that the standard of care was followed to the letter.

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