This article appears in the February 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Many hospital leaders are struggling with care coordination. It's a bedrock requirement, if not in healthcare reform specifically, in ultimately reducing the cost of care, bettering its efficiency, and ensuring the long-term viability of the healthcare system. Perhaps that's why when it comes to clinical quality improvement, coordination of care was identified as the top strategic challenge, cited by 27% of senior leaders who responded to the HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2012.
Lest that number be underestimated, it represented one of 10 possible answers to the question, and respondents were only allowed to pick one.
"A top driver of unnecessary cost in healthcare is a duplication of tests," says Jack Kolosky, executive vice president and chief operating officer of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, FL. "There's duplication that goes along the referral pathway. That adds cost to the overall system, and in many cases, we can reduce this huge expense if we get more coordinated."
Citing their organization's top priorities, senior leaders ranked patient experience first, cost reduction/process improvement second, and clinical quality/safety third, each of which ties in to care coordination.