If you’ve ever sat around the table working on a jigsaw puzzle, you understand the challenge of putting pieces together. The completed picture looks stunning, but getting there can take a full dose of patience. Healthcare delivery often feels like the same experience, and sometimes it’s questionable if the pieces even belong on the same table.
Patients often find themselves caught in fragmented care models and the consequences can be severe. At-risk populations may be impacted the most since they’re already burdened with chronic conditions and unmet needs. One study revealed that patients caught in primary care models exhibiting fragmented care were more likely to suffer from chronic diseases, including high blood pressure and diabetes, than those who enjoyed better-coordinated models.
Unfortunately, the consequences lead to more acute episodes and financial burdens on institutions and corporations, too. The same study found that these patients experienced more hospitalizations, more doctor visits, and higher expenses. Patients dealing with the most fragmented services experienced an average total cost of $10,396, nearly double the cost of patients with the least fragmentation in care.
Recognize the cause to find solutions.
The complexity of healthcare reflects the nature of the systems it serves. The medical model divides the body into many parts. As a result, 80% of doctors are specialists. Patients end up visiting multiple doctors for different problems, and each focuses on their area of expertise.
The specialist model leads to confusion over who’s directing a patient’s overall care. Patients find themselves in the dark, and providers aren’t clear about their colleagues’ findings and treatment protocols. When patients travel between organizations, the health record doesn’t always follow them.
The five pillars to cohesive care.
The most effective solution boils down to a simple concept: Healthcare logistics teaming with high-quality integrated care. While there are many pieces to fit together, these components help organizations develop customized care solutions:
- An organizational structure that provides systems and incentives for multi-disciplinary teams to work together and communicate.
- A comprehensive electronic record that provides all providers a clear, accurate picture of the patient’s journey, including tracking tools.
- An overlying preventive focus with programs and systems that give patients realistic, accessible solutions to minimize their need for medications and acute care.
- Fewer barriers and red tape to care, including access to health services within the boundaries of employees’ work environments.
- A structure for gathering feedback on the patient journey to uncover their frustration, satisfaction, and ideas for better service.
DOCS Health puts the pieces together.
DOCS Health is a cohesive healthcare solution that brings the pieces together, through a strong emphasis on healthcare logistics and wellness services that build better communities.
We prioritize communication, prevention, and access to reduce fragmentation, so that everyone has access to the care they need. Past studies have repeatedly shown that integrated healthcare models produce higher quality care. We believe once commitments at the organizational level are made, people will see positive results of better health. From higher productivity to better employee retention, healthy cultures start with healthy individuals!