How Strategy and Technology can Prevent Patient Leakage, Bolster Access to Care

How Strategy and Technology can Prevent Patient Leakage, Bolster Access to Care

These are some of the big challenges as hospitals and health systems endeavor to operate as a single system of care. Healthcare provider organizations today strive to operate as one system of care, which can be a challenge. The pandemic has brought this issue into stark focus by magnifying the challenge and accentuating its impact on patient access, care and leakage. The pandemic also has placed new strains on hospital intake and capacity, strains that can result in patients being transferred to hospitals far from home, even out of their state. Increased staff shortages due to illness and burnout have further compounded these issues.

Angie Franks is CEO of About Healthcare, which develops patient access technologies for hospitals and health systems. We spoke with her to discuss strategies for reducing patient leakage and tools to improve access across the care continuum. Hospitals and health systems historically have operated in a transactional manner. Patients engage with health systems when they are ill and are provided the care they need. In addition to this reactive approach, very little interaction, communication or information sharing typically occurs among different care providers – even among distinct providers within the same health system.

In many cases, each individual entity within a health system has its own organizational and technological infrastructure. These facilities may have the same parent organization and share the same name and logo, but at the end of the day most still operate as independent entities, causing inefficiencies, gaps and friction. With COVID-19, the demand for care increased exponentially, placing an unprecedented strain on our medical resources. This occurrence exposed the dire implications of the independent, transactional care delivery model. When the pandemic hit, many hospitals were working blind.

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