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Throughout most of the modern history of medicine, patients have had to piece together their care from a number of healthcare professionals who did not necessarily have the opportunity to communicate with one another. This could lead to duplicated tests, contradictory instructions and even harmful drug interactions. With the rise of collaborative networks such as Accountable Health Organizations (ACOs) health professionals can work together to give their patients the best care and the best possible outcomes.
How much time do you currently spend filling out medical history paperwork? When dealing with medical professionals who are part of a collaborative network, you will find that you spend less time filling out forms because your doctor will already have your medical history. Electronic records allow doctors to share information, meaning that they will already know more about your medical history, including past illnesses and what prescriptions you are currently on.
With the rise of collaborative networks such as Accountable Health Organizations (ACOs) health professionals can work together to give their patients the best care and the best possible outcomes.
Going from one doctor to another can also sometimes mean repeating tests that you’ve already had recently. The shared records mean that the results will be available to each specialist you see, cutting down on the amount of new tests you will have to take. This saves money, hassle and time, meaning you can dedicate fewer of your resources to maintaining a good level of health.
When all of your doctors are in a collaborative network, it means that they are better able to communicate with one another. About 55% of the doctor’s visits made each year are to a primary care physician, with the balance going to specialists. Without collaboration, those doctors may wind up inadvertently working at cross purposes with one another. For instance, the average 70-year-old takes seven different prescription medications. If doctors don’t know what their colleagues are prescribing, a patient can wind up with medications that interact in a negative way or with more than one medication designed to do the same job. With collaborative care, each practice has better access to a patient’s other prescriptions and records, allowing them to make sure that the medications they recommend are the best ones for the whole patient.
When healthcare providers share resources, it means that they can cut their costs, passing savings on to you. For instance, one or more practices may share front desk staff, cutting down on the personnel needed to provide care. And, when records are shared, cutting down on prescriptions and tests means that you are not spending money on care that is not necessary for your health.
With collaborative care, each practice has better access to a patient’s other prescriptions and records, allowing them to make sure that the medications they recommend are the best ones for the whole patient.
Collaborative healthcare means that all of your medical care providers are working together to create a holistic system that puts you in the center. Your doctors are able to keep you better informed about your health. And, they are more likely to know and be able to honor your personal healthcare choices.
Wondering whether you can benefit from a collaborative network? Contact us for a consultation today.
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.