Care Management encompasses all the activities designed to improve the care provided to patients by helping caregivers and patients manage health conditions effectively by adopting a more collaborative and coordinated model of care delivery. The healthcare delivery, these days, is dramatically improving the experience associated with care, reducing the costs, while improving the overall health of patients.
The need of the hour is a well-designed Care Management System that streamlines the flow of work, focuses on activities that have a positive impact on patients, prioritize tasks and keep track of the care provided and make a detailed plan for the future.
According to a research by Markets and Markets, the global care management software and services market will more than double in size to over $15.7 billion by 2021 up from $6.93 billion today. The report predicts annual growth of 17.8% per year for the next five years.
Although there are a number of Care Management Systems, these are some of the must-have qualities of a reliable and effective Care Management System. A good Care Management System should be:
A Comprehensive System
A value based Care Management System should integrate information from all sources, classify patient data, manage and coordinate care, ease communication between care givers and patients, and also accurately measure the effectiveness of care and chart a future plan.
Electronic medical records act as one of the sources of patient medical information. However, to create an effective workflow, there are many other components that come into play.
- Integration of data from a variety of sources such as from multiple electronic medical records, test reports, prescription details, hospitalization details, invoices, aggregating and analyzing the information to make it useful for care planners.
- Make use of analytics to classify information, identify risks, create priorities and strategize workflow.
- Inform patients about their care, open communication channels between all providers and stakeholders, planning future care, assess advances, and provide related information.
- Coordinate patient care by collaborating with multiple providers, care members, patients and physicians.
- Create easy to understand and reliable reports with results of analysis, educational materials, and future care plans.
An Analytical Tool
For any Care Management System to be successful, it has to have analytics at its core. It is highly important for Care Management to be able to collect, analyze, correlate, and identify trends and patterns to be able to bring about data-driven information. Digitizing medical reports, logging and updating patient information is one thing, but using that information in a proper manner demands an analytical tool to be a part of Care Management System. This analytical tool will be able to digitize the clinical process, classify patient data, draw patterns, suggest different workflows for different patients, and identify patients will special health demands.
The analytical tool will be able to help in chalking out individual care plans, assessments based on specific needs and patient profiles. Moreover, in addition to considering the patient information, it also considers other factors such as location, clinical conditions, test reports, socio-economic points, fitness tests, mental health indicators, and more. With this stratified information in hand, Care Management members will be able to create effective personalized individual plans for their patients.
Able to integrate multiple data systems
It is not possible to develop a proper future care plan without first integrating information from all sources including electronic medical records. A good Care Management system encompasses patient data including medical visits, care team and managers, acute and primary care, physicians and therapists, social workers and care givers.
A study of malpractice claims between 2009 and 2013 by CRICO indicated that communication problems were a contributing factor in 30 percent of medical malpractice cases.
Since multiple care givers are working together in this complex ecosystem, it is important for the Care Management System to create a multi-disciplinary communication platform. Communication between care team and patients also plays a huge role in delivering better care. No amount of tools and techniques can ever replace humans. Information and analytical tools help care managers take informed data-driven decisions to ensure better care plans.
In addition to these, a good Care Management System should also be flexible and adaptable with other existing systems. It should be customizable to future requirements and accessible from any device and any location.
As value driven care delivery becomes more widespread, it is time to bring coordination and communication between patients, medical care units, physicians, vendors, hospitals on a single platform to positively impact patients’ health.