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May 1, 2015
The New York Times recently shed light on one of healthcare’s worst-kept secrets: Fragmented care is the norm to the detriment of patients. Too many patients experience disconnected transitions as they move across a variety of care settings. Many patients complain about how each of their providers seem to ask the same questions. This repetition is more than an annoyance; it’s further proof of just how little each clinician knows about the patient’s medical history, and makes it difficult to ensure patients are sticking to the appropriate treatment plan. This disconnect between care settings has a negative impact on providers as well. According to the Institute of Medicine, fragmented care and other inefficiencies cost the healthcare system at least $130 billion annually. Moreover, a survey from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported that poor communication during care transitions can lead to duplicate testing, medication errors, and lack of follow through on referrals – all of which drain staff and resources.
As our healthcare ecosystem moves toward value-based care and population health management, it is becoming even more critical for providers to get on the same page about a patient and collaborate more efficiently and effectively.