Number 4 “No One is Coordinating Your Care” segments taken from You Bet Your Life, of the Top 10 Reasons You Need a Professional Patient Advocate by Your Side by Trisha Torrey.
“Most of us have experienced the fact that our doctors just don’t communicate with each other.
Your cardiologist isn’t talking to your orthopedist, who isn’t talking to your endocrinologist….
None of those doctors are coordinating your prescription drugs or other treatment recommendations. They are operating in silos.”
Coordinating care takes time and can be complex. Optimally you hope your cardiologist is taking the time to read the reports and information from your primary care doctor or your pulmonologist, maybe even having a phone conversation. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen as much as you would expect. One there isn’t enough time and two there is little to no reimbursement for this service. This has become even more complicated since doctor offices and hospitals have different EHR (Electronic Health Record) systems that additionally don’t communicate with each other. As a result, your medical records are stored from different doctors in different systems, silos.
There are other risks that allow for miscommunication and things to fall through the cracks, especially during transitions of care. For example, when you are discharged from the hospital who is there to make sure you get your home care set up, pick up your prescriptions, make sure you have everything you need at home, make sure you set up your follow up appointments, ensure your new medications don’t interfere with your current medications…
If you are alone to do this, particularly after an illness, surgery, or difficult diagnosis it is difficult to coordinate everything on your own and there can be risks and possible poor outcomes.
Having someone to turn to for coordinating care especially during times of transition can have a tremendous impact and yield positive outcomes. A professional advocate, an aging life care professional, can review all your medical records and make sure each specialist understands your care. They can make sure when you are discharged from the hospital you have everything you need and already set up when you go home. They can even coordinate things like ensuring your pets are taken care of, communicating with your family in or out of town, going to doctor visits with you and always being your advocate. They can help create the outcome you deserve!