Recognizing the vital role of communication and coordination in home and specialty infusion

Recognizing the vital role of communication and coordination in home and specialty infusion

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With an increasing emphasis on patient-centered care and innovative delivery models, communication and coordination in home and specialty infusion therapy is vital to optimize patient outcomes and enhance the overall quality of care. Taking time to evaluate your organization’s capabilities can support better patient engagement and improve outcomes. Here are some areas to consider.

The importance of communication and coordination

Comprehensive care planning

Effective communication and coordination are essential for developing comprehensive care plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs and circumstances. By sharing insights and expertise, members of the care team can collaboratively assess patients, identify treatment goals and formulate individualized care plans that optimize therapeutic outcomes and enhance patient satisfaction.

Seamless transitions of care

Smooth transitions of care are critical when patients transition from a hospital setting to home infusion and specialty pharmacy services. Clear communication among healthcare providers ensures that pertinent information, such as medication regimens, treatment plans and patient preferences, is accurately conveyed, minimizing the risk of errors, complications and disruptions in care continuity.

Timely intervention and support

In the home setting, timely intervention and support are vital to address any challenges or complications that may arise during the course of therapy. Open lines of communication allow home infusion nurses, pharmacists and other team members to promptly respond to changes in the patient’s condition, adjust treatment plans as needed and provide necessary guidance and support to patients and caregivers.

However, research shows that many providers don’t have sufficient patient engagement systems in place. When phone calls are the primary communication mechanism, the likelihood of connecting on the first try with another person is low, resulting in voicemails and phone tag that not only waste time, but also delay patients getting the answers they need.

According to the same survey of over 100 home infusion patients, 98% say their pharmacy’s method of communication plays a role in their level of satisfaction. Having real-time communication methods in place, such as messaging and video chat, make it easier to rapidly respond to patients and ultimately help improve patient satisfaction, reduce adverse events and grow referrals.

Optimization of resources

With rising costs and supply chain challenges, wasting medication doses and supplies is not an option. Understanding what patients have on hand and ensuring the proper amounts are available and ready when the nurse arrives to administer the infusion is critical. By streamlining workflows, minimizing redundancies and maximizing the use of available resources, the care team can enhance operational efficiency, reduce costs and ensure the sustainability of home infusion programs.

Strategies to enhance communication and coordination

Enhanced interdisciplinary collaboration

Promote interdisciplinary team collaboration through Patient Discussion Groups (PDGs) – a single message thread that keeps conversations about a patient’s care in one location for a real-time view of care progress and needs.

As the patient’s care journey evolves, team members can be added and removed from the active message threads so only relevant stakeholders are involved when appropriate.

PDGs give visibility to every element of care from the incoming referral, to benefits and authorization, to medication refills.

matrixcare software screenshot

This highly collaborative tool fosters a culture of teamwork and allows for more efficiency and productivity among members of the care team.

Use the right technology

Leverage technology tools and platforms to make communication and coordination easier for your care team, as well as patients and caregivers. Engagement software should include telehealth capabilities, secure messaging systems, and integration with your pharmacy management system of record. These features allow real-time information sharing, remote consultations and seamless communication among geographically dispersed team members.

Because the security and confidentiality of patient data is more important than ever, ensure your engagement technology has a robust data security program. This includes processes and protocols to mitigate risk, defend against threats, and meet regulatory requirements with a SOC 2 Type 2 certification.

Standardization and structured data

Develop standardized protocols, guidelines and best practices to promote consistency, efficiency, and quality of care. Structuring patient data ensures all members of the care team are collecting, evaluating and reporting on defined data. One way to do this is to use digital forms. Not only does this reduce the chance of errors in your documentation, but it can also provide validation checks to add an extra layer of accuracy. The improved accuracy of digital forms also saves time your team might otherwise spend tracking down missing information, which helps reduce delays in claim processing and reimbursement.

mobile phone using matrixcare

Increased patient and caregiver engagement

Engage patients and their caregivers as active participants in the care team, encouraging them to communicate openly, ask questions and provide feedback about their experiences with home infusion therapy. Empower patients and caregivers with educational resources, self-management tools and support networks to enhance their confidence and ability to manage treatment effectively at home.

Taking the next step

Effective communication and coordination play a vital role among the care team for optimizing patient outcomes and enhancing the overall quality of care. Now, consider the role it currently plays in your organization, areas for enhancement and the difference it could make in overcoming your current engagement challenges.

Together, let’s continue to prioritize communication and coordination as pillars of success in delivering high-quality, patient-centered care. Take the next step and schedule a demo with our experts to learn more.

Christie McWilliams
Christie McWilliams
RN, Implementation Consultant, CitusHealth

As an Implementation Consultant at CitusHealth, Christie successfully assists healthcare companies to digitally transform their processes using the CitusHealth application. Christie has been a registered nurse for 12 years in various positions within home infusion, home health, and hospital settings. Christie applies the extensive knowledge she has gained during her nursing career to assist CitusHealth customers in utilizing the application to its fullest advantage.