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Cost and the Impact on Care Coordination

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, February 13, 2012
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But getting more coordinated is the difficult part, especially when 61% of those very same respondents stated that care coordination is strong or very strong in their organization. While that answer may seem to contradict the contention that coordination of care is the top strategic challenge, in reality, it could reflect an attitude from senior leaders about their organization compared to peers.

Also, that 61% figure represents one of the lowest positive ratings among other choices. (Scores for medical quality, fiscal management, and patient safety all exceed 80% strong or very strong, for example.)

"We have multidisciplinary teams to address coordinating care while the patient is in the hospital," says Kolosky. "So if you're in the breast program, we have people who deal with that together and they work together on your case. Where we struggle, and I'm sure this is true with other organizations, especially community hospitals, is that we're dealing with referring physicians or other entities in making sure that the things we think need to be done are being done in the community. That is a big challenge."

Some 74% of senior leaders feel their own organization is on the "right track" versus the 24% who think the healthcare industry in general is on the "right track." That suggests a big disconnect. How can respondents say that they are doing well when the industry as a whole is doing terribly? But dive a little deeper into the respondents' mind-set and some of the disconnect begins to make sense, says Kolosky.

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