4 Examples of Care Coordination in Home Health

Every year, 4.9 million patients receive home health care, making it a vital service in the United States. For each patient, health providers must review medical records, deliver care, manage medications, and organize additional services. These tasks are examples of care coordination that require integrated tools for success.

What Is Care Coordination and Why Is It Important in Home Health?

Care coordination is the organized planning and delivery of a patient’s medical care from multiple health care providers. The goal is to exchange information about patient needs and preferences between providers so that patients receive safe, timely, and effective care. 

Home health involves many health care professionals, from the primary physician and nurses to specialists and social workers. A seamless flow of information between each professional, the patient, and the family helps monitor patient progress, adjust the level of care, and promote independence. 

Activities range from sharing medical records, relaying with insurance, and managing referrals to linking social services or arranging a short-term stay in a skilled nursing facility. Successful coordination of care leads to better chronic care management and improved outcomes, keeping patients healthier for longer. An effective plan of care also reduces repeated tests and procedures, lowering health care costs.

Examples of Care Coordination in Home Health

Home health agencies use many tools to organize and share information. The more integrated the tools, the higher the operational efficiency and the more seamless the coordination. For example, a document-sharing platform gives clinicians and care managers access to clinical notes, patient medical history, orders, medications, and referrals in one central hub. Agencies see faster order turnaround, better referral management, easier remote coordination, and compliance. 

1. Faster Order Turnaround

Care coordination services and delivery can’t proceed without physician orders. Yet delays in physician orders are a common frustration for agencies, leading to delays in treatment and gaps in the billing cycle and cash flow. 

With the right technology, such as physician order tracking software, agencies can automate the process and expedite orders. Rather than printing, scanning, and uploading orders into a system, care managers can auto-fax orders and simultaneously update the electronic record. 

Physicians can remotely access orders, e-sign, and auto-attach orders to records. Once signed, the orders go straight to billing for processing. Care coordinators can track order status and set triggers to send reminders after no response or escalate to the right team for follow-up.

Agencies gain better communication and faster order turnaround with a complete audit trail for compliance. The care experience also improves, as patients receive timely transition care and disease management. 

2. Improved Referral Management

Referrals are integral to home health care but have many complex steps. A successful care management program includes an organized referral process featuring document tracking and case review.

Referral management software streamlines your intakes, allowing you to organize and classify documents with little input. Create custom packets to ensure referring clinics include all the information you need. Automatically send information to your EMR and track missing documents, such as admission and insurance forms or physician orders. 

With the right software, your intake team eliminates manual data entry, reduces downtime, and improves case review and approval. Meanwhile, patients receive faster-coordinated care and minimal disruption to treatment. 

3. Mobile Coordination

Home health is a unique form of care because it happens outside of a central medical setting. Nurses and other clinical staff must navigate the regulations and standards of quality ongoing care and medical record updates while moving locations. Any breakdown in communication or lack of access to technology can quickly affect the continuum of care, leading to failures in care management and poor health outcomes.

Mobile coordination provides a simple yet powerful way for physicians and other professionals to share critical patient updates. Staff can update records with reports and photos, while physicians can review clinical notes, examine wound photos, and batch-sign documents, all from a mobile device.  

4. HIPAA-Compliant Documentation

Sensitive patient information is at the center of care coordination, which means a successful plan ensures strict security controls for the transmission of, storage of, and access to information. Firewalls, data encryption, access cards, user authentication, and audit controls ensure only the right people retrieve patient information. 

With modern document-sharing software, teams can receive and access secure data. Internal messaging apps help you stay in the loop on critical changes to a medical condition, simplify communication, and maintain privacy and security compliance. 

Elevate Care Team Communication With WorldView

Care coordination is all about communication across multiple teams. For better connections, bridge health care professionals with critical data through an integrated, all-in-one hub like WorldView

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