Changing prescriptions, additional tests, exam results and new therapies are just a few examples of information patients may receive at an office visit. Although patients may feel confident with the new or changed plan of care at the time of the visit, it’s comforting knowing support is available once they leave the office.
In a recent #KareoChat (first and third Thursdays at 9 a.m. PST/ 12 p.m. EST), participants came together to discuss what healthcare professionals can do to ensure patients and their families feel supported outside the practice visit.
Carol Bush (@TheSocialNurse), an oncology nurse and co-founder of The Healthcare Marketing Network hosted this lively chat.
Let’s dive into the discussion.
Topic 1: What Should Practices Be Equipping Patients and Families With In Order to Link Them to Needed Follow-Up Services & Information?
Patients receive a lot of information at an office visit. Though patients may have a firm grasp on instructions at the visit, knowing there is a way to get in touch if additional support is needed helps patients feel more confident in their care.
This is a GREAT topic and question! Tangible knowledge. As a nurse, we often don't have time to fully educate patients with what they need for self-care. We have to create an individualized care plan that meets the patient and family where they are #kareochat https://t.co/nd6P9HR1fx— Melissa Mills (@mkngspacenurse) May 17, 2018
What about looking in to different ways to communicate with patients. I understand there are certain regulations, but I think text messaging is allowed through HIPAA now #KareoChat https://t.co/WhMCiaIgEm— Jeff Quinn (@JQuinn_Buffalo) May 17, 2018
A1. Having a continuing care plan is one step. Creating an easy way to share records between practices is helpful. Knowing if there is a local care navigation program to refer to or creating one is even more helpful. #KareoChat— Annie Beth Donahue (@anniebdonahue) May 17, 2018
Topic 2: How Can We Use Our Patient Portals to Inform & Educate About the Plan of Care?
Patient portals can be very powerful education tools for patients. Here are some ideas on how to utilize patient portals to their fullest.
Q2: We have to make sure the portal has actionable information that the patient understands. #kareochat— Melissa Mills (@mkngspacenurse) May 17, 2018
Technologists get too excited to release the next “app” or “portal” for patient engagement & communications. We have to think “SIMPLIFICATION” & use what’s already existing. Make it as easy as possible. (For providers & patients) #KareoChat https://t.co/Paa8SdCsQQ— Pharmacy Podcast Network (@PharmacyPodcast) May 17, 2018
A2: I think the more we can use patient portals for REAL communication & coordination, the higher use & engagement we will see. Set the expectation & workflow to communicate & respond quickly for specific action items from the plan of care. #kareochat https://t.co/VyjkEqDehk— Carol Bush (@TheSocialNurse) May 17, 2018
Topic 3: How Can Clinical Teams Use Health IT to Help Patients Be Prepared?
The goal of Health IT improvements is always to help patients. Here are some ideas from participants.
A3: Lots of promise in using HIT to integrate communications among providers and patients. Opportunities to link with community resources, including #pharmacists, social services supports, health coaches. #KareoChat https://t.co/rOoYkvBhHB— UNC CMOPP (@unc_cmopp) May 17, 2018
Topic 4: How Can This Help Us Think About Introducing Care Navigator Services to Patients?
Some nice tips were shared here.
A4: Making care navigation a priority & identifying a practice champion for implementation are key. Doesn't have to be one person, but map out the process & use all tools EHR, Pt Portal, Secure Messaging at your disposal to enhance communication about care. https://t.co/pCtiADuYeN— Carol Bush (@TheSocialNurse) May 17, 2018
Topic 5: What Are Some Innovative or Effective Care Management Strategies You and Your Team Have Employed in Your Practice?
Here’s a great example of healthcare collaboration.
The participants shared great ideas for helping patients and their families navigate the healthcare system once they leave the medical office!