5 Ways seamless communication improves referral relationships

5 Ways seamless communication improves referral relationships

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By: Nick Knowlton, Vice President of Business Development, ResMed – SaaS

Key frustrations among referring providers include unnecessary phone calls, lack of visibility into the patient care journey, delayed start of care, and reliance on fax. Improving your digital toolset can help you communicate seamlessly, see patients in a timely manner, and be more productive both in person and through virtual care—making you a more reliable post-acute care partner to your referral sources.

The numbers don’t lie when it comes to the importance of digital communication tools in home-based care:

  • 93% of physicians believe that mobile engagement can improve patient health (Health IT Outcomes Report).
  • 96% of all patients and family caregivers would choose one home healthcare provider over another based on the ability to respond more effectively in real time. (Porter Research)
  • 74% of referral sources would switch to a post-acute care provider if they are able to interoperate with them more effectively. (Porter Research)

The need for more real-time engagement is clear. Here are five ways more efficient communication can improve referral relationships:

Referral sources want digital tools.
Referral sources see many of the same pain points as post-acute care providers when it comes to communication, interoperability, and transitions of care. With manual processes like faxing still in place for a majority of providers, they want more digital pathways to be able to collaborate, automate workflows, and stay involved in the patient care journey.

Noncompliance can be avoided.
In a value-based reimbursement world, referral sources don’t want patients falling through the cracks, diverting from their care plans, or having other unexpected bumps in the road. Keeping the patient engaged in an omnichannel digital journey is a key mechanism to avoiding confusion, misunderstandings, noncompliance, and nonadherence to the care plan.

Rehospitalization is less likely.
The care plan needs to be put into play in a timely manner to avoid hospital readmissions. With more efficient communication, disease management effectiveness can be vastly improved through the ability to collaborate in real time, to have faster insight for concerns brought by patients, and for clinicians to make better, more accurate judgements.

Care teams can collaborate.
With modern post-acute patients having higher acuity and more chronic conditions, the care team is widening. The ability to communicate across multiple care settings and different aspects of healthcare is beneficial for patients and their families—but also for the care team to understand what’s happening across the spectrum. This collaborative approach gives referral sources visibility into the care journey, with access to care teams through real-time messaging.

What’s important to patients is important to referral sources.
As patients become more consumer-like, the patient experience is going to be a key driver of their purchasing decisions. Knowing there will be smooth baton passes from acute to post-acute and other care providers is going to be increasingly important to patients—which means it’s going to be increasingly important to referral sources. Proper care now means keeping the patient and their disease states managed at home to avoid acute events.

At the end of the day, patients and families care where referral sources route them. Giving them a positive, seamless experience is going to reflect better on referral providers as well as CAHPS scores. Seamless communication and more efficient engagement are wins for all stakeholders.

Schedule a demo today to learn how we can help you achieve seamless communication and collaboration to improve your referral relationships.

Nick Knowlton
Nick Knowlton
Vice President of Business Development, ResMed – SaaS

Nick Knowlton leads the company’s strategic initiatives, including partnership development and healthcare interoperability efforts.

Nick has over twenty years of business experience and has held sales, marketing, product, and strategy positions for technology and health information technology businesses. Prior to joining ResMed, Nick ran strategic initiatives for Greenway Health, a market leader in the physician practice EHR space.

Nick has a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame.