If you’re struggling with physician communication, you’re not alone. We know that communication leads to better care coordination. That is a no brainer. Yet, we continue to see communication challenges in home health (and other areas) because of regulations, documentation requirements, and a million other things. If we had well-coordinated care and best practice communication strategies, there would be less discrepancies in medication lists and more time and complete access to hospital records among other things. This would allow our clinicians the ability to hit the ground running with individualized care from the start.
Yet, we still struggle in this area.
Here are some of our best practices in breaking down the barriers to communication:
- Create communication protocols and methods with referring physicians.
- Attempt to limit the number of phone calls and faxes a physician is receiving – condense orders and signature requirements into one phone call or transmittal whenever possible.
- Establish preferred days/times that physicians are more likely to be accessible to agencies for communication and collaboration.
- Direct access to hospital and agency EMRs to enhance the ability to proactively gather additional patient specific information and history.
- Establish accountability for hospital clinicians to manage Home Health orders until a primary care physician can see the patient, help with Home Health agency with questions, and care coordination.
- Follow up with your partners on what is working and what is not and formulate a plan to do better.
Written by: Brandi Tayloe, PT, Senior Vice President - Senior Living