Communication is critical in every aspect of our lives and the work area is no different. Effectively communicating with a staff member or a workplace team can be the ingredient that delivers success. However, it is of key importance for physicians, medical staff and home health companies to communicate with one another. This communication or lack thereof can mean missed opportunities to effectively and appropriately treat a patient. This in turn leads to increased risk for patients to be readmitted to the hospital. These repeat hospitalizations are costly and in many cases unnecessary. A little communication can prevent these problems.
Re-Hospitalization Is Expensive For Everyone
Re-hospitalization is a severe problem that results in millions of dollars in medical bills each year. You may think that this does not affect the regular person or that it is only a problem for the hospitalized patient or the insurance companies covering these patients. But, you would be very wrong. Re-hospitalization is really a problem that is costly to taxpayers and state budgets. Patients with Medicaid or without any insurance are where the financial concerns lie. Someone with no insurance that is repeatedly admitted to the hospital is costing the system thousands of dollars depending on the treatment that is needed.
Communication is the Key
Communication is a simple but effective device. Physicians and medical staff including those in home health agencies cannot communicate enough. Keeping the physician aware of what is going on with a patients care is vital. Without this knowledge the physician is basically working blind. They are unaware of problems that might be escalating that can be easily prevented. Each year, millions of hospitalizations occur which could have been easily and effectively prevented with the simple act of communication.
New Technology Helps Move Communication Along
Fortunately there have been new advances with technology that are helping to improve communication between medical facilities, physicians and medical personnel. One of these improvements is a computer system that can connect hospital systems, medical facilities, home health agencies and laboratories. These computer systems can connect separate hospitals or hospitals systems that have various other facilities that feed into it. It is proving to be very successful in catching patients that go to different facilities to be treated. Some of these patients who see multiple physicians and medical facilities to get medication (such as narcotics) are finding this new and improved communication to be a problem. Physicians can now review the medications the patient has been prescribed and are much more aware of the patients that are using the ER’s as a stop and shop. Of course on the other hand being able to see the medications that are prescribed by other practitioners and medical facilities can be beneficial for the physicians that have difficulty extracting this information from forgetful patients. Physicians and medical facilities are finding that this new technology is greatly reducing the knowledge of where their patients are going and the treatment they are receiving. All of this makes treating the patient much less like detective work and much more definite.
Coming together and communicating with one another is important on various levels. However, for the health care system it can prevent repeat hospitalizations, unnecessary hospitalizations, abuse of medication and exacerbation and complication of diseases. All of this helps reduce the cost of health care. Costs that can easily be prevented by watchful medical staff and behaviors that produce excellent communication.