When talking about collaboration in the healthcare industry, a broad definition can result, defining primary providers collaborating with: specialist, support staff, patients and their families, health plans, admin, etc. The holistic team effort involved in caring for patients has expanded as modern medicine, and the processes supporting it, have become more complex. The good news is technology is providing innovative solutions to facilitate better collaboration; this article will look at how a collaborative care timeline improves patient engagement.
What is a Collaborative Care Timeline?
Essentially, this is part of a comprehensive healthcare CRM technological solution, used in its most flexible form as a mobile app. Not just through the app, but through a focused emphasis on connecting with patients through their mobile devices (mostly their smartphones). When applicable and able, providers can advise patients and their care team members (family, care givers, friends) to download the app for full functionality with the healthcare CRM platform.
Either way, the collaborative care timeline begins at the pre-care stages, starting with a mobile phone number. The timeline is documentedthroughout the pre, acute, and post care processes, giving all members involved in the care process access and understanding of the progression of the care. For instance, mobile check-in functionality gives patients the ability to: auto-populate demographic information from EMR, schedule visits, pay co-pays, and access and sign relevant forms (insurance, prescriptions, HIPAA documentation).
Therefor, the collaborative care timeline, essentially, is the historical record and documentation of the entire care process, accessed and managed through the healthcare CRM software and mobile phone app.
Benefits of Using Healthcare CRM for Collaboration
The main benefit gained is the centralization of the care process, which can be accessed, managed, and used, with the power of cloud and mobile computing technologies (anytime, anywhere, with any device). Another aspect, making it so beneficial, is the automation and BI, which provide innovative features like: intelligent outreach, automatically sent post care notifications, real-time scheduling availability, pre-care preparations, and the real-time family notifications for acute care – to name a few.
The main idea is to simplify the care process, by automating non-personal tasks (protocols, directions, scheduling, discharge documentation, educational materials, surveys, health assessments, etc.) and providing care team members more visibility into the process. Not only can patients and their care teams have a better idea of how on track they are, but providers and support staff, also, can double-check and confirm that all processes have been completed as needed. In addition to this visibility, all parties involved are more informed and have better access to each other through the healthcare CRM platform.
A good example of this access to the care process, is the actual collaborative care timeline, which allows family members and care teams of patients (whoever the patient wants notified) to see real-time updates along the timeline. These real-time notifications give care teams knowledge of every single step being taken in the care of their loved ones, as well as direct notes from the doctor or nursing staff.
Collaborative Care in the Future
Prevailing thought leadership in the healthcare industry all agree that technology will play a large part in improving patient engagement in the future, and this, intrinsically, means improving collaborative care as well. As of now, the industry (and all other industries) are in a transitioning phase when it comes to business processes; this is an all-encompassing shift to cloud and mobile computing technologies.
What this means is the more providers that adopt healthcare CRM technologies (like HealthGrid), the more streamlined collaborative care processes will become. Until this widespread consolidation of healthcare processes manifests, providers, at least, have a way to collaborate within their primary care facilities and with their patients – alleviating pain points, creating streamlined efficiency, and providing better care outcomes. Basically, when it comes to improving patient engagement, reaching patients with such an innovative technology through their mobile apps is sure to keep pace with any prevailing thought leadership.