As explained in a recent Modern Healthcare article, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has asked CMS to push hospitals to more openly share patients’ medical records. The current lack of communication between hospitals and other healthcare facilities, AAFP notes, puts the patient at risk and frequently leads to readmissions that could have been prevented. Often, the release of important discharge information to the primary care physician does not occur at all.
To address this challenge, the AAFP is pushing CMS to finalize a rule revising discharge planning requirements. The rule, proposed November 2015, would better facilitate the exchange of medical records between family physicians and hospitals, and require hospitals to more quickly contact the patient’s physician after he/she is discharged to another care setting.
Still, some healthcare professionals do not believe that the CMS needs to get involved to enhance communication across providers. Jennifer Schleman, spokeswoman for the American Hospital Association, explains, “The most promising way to achieve communication is through interoperability among the multiple electronic health-record systems that can exist throughout the community.” Care providers must have products that seamlessly work together to exchange patient information and coordinate care.
In a healthcare landscape where reimbursements are increasingly tied to health outcomes and the quality of patient care, hospitals must invest in proven technologies to improve communication and coordination. To learn how CipherHealth’s patient engagement and care management solutions enhance the discharge process and communication across providers, contact us today.