Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN), a publication of the American Hospital Association, featured an article this month that helps executives stay on top of the critical issue of care coordination. With the increasing importance of value-based care models, knowing the relevant key factors will not only help you improve the quality of care but simultaneously enable increased efficiencies.

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are one element of this changing landscape, but other approaches to population health management are also in play. The AHA article provides C-suite executives with a helpful checklist that will ensure you have all the bases covered, including:

Assigning Accountability – The article lists five factors that executives should consider in terms of accountability, including the need to assign a dedicated team to be responsible for care coordination.

Improving Referral Systems – A list of six points will help you focus on ways to streamline the referral process, including the need to have a referral tracking system that combines all of the pertinent data in a single, easily accessible system.

Building Relationships and Agreements – It’s important to be clear about the scope of responsibilities for various partners, and equally important to document their responsibilities to help measure and ensure compliance.

Providing a Patient Support System – Increasingly, patients are being required to help manage their own care, and clear communication with patients is paramount to improving health outcomes.

Maximizing the Value of EHR Systems – Six items to consider about EHR systems, including how your organization can extract the greatest possible value from this data, especially in terms of sharing the data and making it available to the care team in “real time,” as it is entered into the system.

Improving Communication – Almost 50% of healthcare-related errors occur during handoffs among different providers; the article lists five items that will help you prevent errors due to poor communication.

Implementing Changes – Being slow to implement a comprehensive strategy for care coordination carries substantial risks in value-based payment models; make it a top priority to get ahead of the curve.

To learn more, you can access the article and its checklist at the H&HN website:

Author: Jim WiederholdJim believes his 39 years of experience--particularly his more than 26 years in healthcare--has prepared him well for what he does. His wealth of experience spans key areas, including finance, operations, management, leadership, sales and sales management, corporate, contingency, contractual and retained recruiting, outplacement and transition work and executive coaching.