While increased care coordination has become a point of focus in recent years, too many patients are left with no one managing their care – and often, family members are forced to pick up the slack.
Bonnie Friedman, author of a recent piece for KevinMD.com, was faced with that exact situation. Her husband was in the hospital, and not even his primary care physician (PCP) was aware of it. When breakdowns in communication occur, it leaves loved ones in the tricky situation of having to help navigate a patient through an already complex web of providers.
After a conversation with her husband’s PCP, Friedman began to wonder who has the responsibility for patients’ care coordination:
Who is supposed to coordinate care? A Harris Poll released in late 2016 found that nearly 70 percent of seniors either rely on a family member to coordinate their health care or, worse, have no one at all to manage their care. The survey … also revealed that 63 percent have no one to coordinate their care following hospitalization.
Those numbers are tied to one of the biggest problems affecting the health care industry – lack of communication. Wider adoption of nurse navigators is one way that the industry is addressing the issue, but Friedman also suggests keeping PCPs in the loop concerning any outside care or hospitalization.