Scan the healthcare trade media and one would think every health professional has a magic elixir for industry-wide transformation. Clinicians often read about smartphones poised to disrupt healthcare and how genetic data sharing will revolutionize the industry. It’s true. Telemedicine, wearable devices, and healthcare apps will enhance care quality, safety, efficiency, and outcomes as well as control costs in the years to come. But achieving sustainable, synergistic, industry-wide change will require more than a string of high-tech innovations. By Michelle Troseth, RN, MSN, DPNAP, FAAN, Chief Professional Practice Officer, Elsevier Clinical Solutions
By Michelle Troseth, RN, MSN, DPNAP, FAAN, Chief Professional Practice Officer, Elsevier Clinical Solutions
Healthcare is in a state of flux. Providers, payers, government, vendors, and patients will no longer tolerate a system dominated by care silos, fragmentation, costly duplication, and uneven outcomes. A re-invigorated healthcare system will take root only if professionals advance a framework for interprofessional care coordination and collaboration across the expanding continuum.
Clinical integration is high on the healthcare agenda, largely because it can “facilitate the coordination of patient care across conditions, providers, settings, and time,” says the American Hospital Association (AHA). Such integration calls for a technology platform that features information exchange, patient registries, analytics, and payment management – tools that support care teams as they improve care, measure clinical quality, re-engineer workflows, and reduce costs.
Reversing the status quo of fragmented, uncoordinated care requires revamped scope of practice for professionals such as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) along with systems that support interprofessional care. Among the participants in this dialogue: physicians, nurses, pharmacists, policy makers, allied health staff, HIT professionals, and anyone who stands along the evolving care continuum.
The evolving continuum also calls for an integrated evidence-based practice and technology platforms. Among the still unresolved issues: How do clinical practice patterns interact with and influence technology adoption and use over time? How can interdisciplinary professionals and care teams enhance the synergy between practice and technology to reduce fragmentation and fully integrate care?
To start, interdisciplinary care teams will require innovative education methodologies intentionally designed to transform how we learn together. Education plays a vital role in the journey to interprofessional care coordination and collaboration. The TIGER (Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform) initiative improves care via technology, with an intense focus on computer, informatics and information literacy knowledge and skill. TIGER’s mission: advance “integration of health informatics to transform practice, education and consumer engagement.”
TIGER champions a unified, integrated view of practice and technology, calling on healthcare leaders to advocate the following:
- Help interdisciplinary professionals and teams understand a technology’s design, purpose and functionality.
- Give professionals time and freedom to learn about, master and use a technology tool in practice.
- Support interdisciplinary teams as they integrate evidence-based practice into clinical workflows.
- Embed evidence-based practice, scope of practice and integrated workflow into technology.
TIGER isn’t alone in its push toward interprofessional practice, coordination and collaboration. Among the most committed initiatives are the following:
As the care continuum evolves, so will the demand for interprofessional care coordination and collaboration. Healthcare must offer education and training that champions a unified, integrated view of practice and technology. It must also optimize all that it has achieved thus far, including notable strides in evidence-based practice, scope of practice and technology diffusion and innovation in medicine, nursing, allied health.