by adgrooms on May 29, 2019

Physician-led team-based care is widely used as a coordinated effort to provide higher quality care to patients. Team members of different specialties are included to provide different strengths in a coordinated effort to create better outcomes. A team effort in a clinical setting has its challenges, and technology can help.

To accomplish effective team care, exceptional communication and information sharing between team members is needed. A tool that pulls data from an EHR and distributes to individual team members while seamlessly incorporating communication would be beneficial. Providing individual team members the ability to select and view relevant information would help them both focus attention and reduce preparation time before a conversation with the patient or other care team members. Dictation and voice recognition could be used to record and share notes and observations from patient visits. In addition, an integrated secure messaging system could ensure the team can coordinate care more efficiently.

Effective communication to and from the patient is essential to provide a sense of trust in the team. If different team members relay contradictory messages, trust is eroded. Trust could be supported by consolidating and making treatment and planning information accessible to the patient and family. The patient-facing interface could provide an easy to understand summary of procedures, prescriptions, and visits from care providers. Bi-directional notes from both patient to provider and provider to patient could further aid communication and improve trust. These notes could be written at any time, providing a way, for example, for a patient to log how they are feeling at a particular time, drug interactions, or a question for a particular care team member.

The physician, as a leader, should have an interface that provides an overview of patients and team members that is easy to read and manage. They should be able to dictate a plan of action for the patient that automatically coordinates and notifies team members what is required of them. Visualizations could be implemented, such as a patient timeline, to quickly understand and assess a patient’s progress.

Team-based care could benefit from a comprehensive, easy-to-use coordination system that integrates seamlessly with the EHR and encourages patient participation.