Families often grapple with a host of challenges when coordinating care for their loved ones. Navigating the intricate web of medical professionals, treatments and support services is overwhelming. But with a thoughtful approach, families can ensure that their loved ones receive the comprehensive and well-coordinated care they deserve.
Coordinated care is a patient-centered approach that involves healthcare providers, specialists and support services working with patients and their families. The goal is to enhance quality of care, improving communication and coordination among all parties. For families navigating the healthcare system, understanding the key components of coordinated care is crucial.
The federal government defines care coordination as “any activity that helps ensure that the patient’s needs and preferences for health services and information sharing across people, functions, and sites are met over time.” That included safe, efficient non-emergency medical transport, including having to travel by commercial airline.
An Overview of Coordinated Care
One of the first steps in navigating coordinated care is to build a strong support network. This network can include family members, friends and community resources. Establish open lines of communication and ensure that everyone involved is on the same page regarding the patient’s needs, preferences and goals. This support network will serve as a foundation for effective coordination.
Primary care providers (PCP) play a pivotal role in coordinated care. They serve as the central point of contact for the patient and oversee the overall management of health. Establish a strong relationship with the PCP and ensure they are aware of all specialists and services involved in the patient’s care. Regular communication with the PCP helps in maintaining a holistic view of the patient’s health and streamlining coordination efforts.
Maintaining a comprehensive and up-to-date medical history is essential for coordinated care. Compile a detailed record of the patient’s medical conditions, medications, allergies, and past treatments. This information becomes a valuable resource for healthcare providers, ensuring that they have a clear understanding of the patient’s health status and can make informed decisions.
Communication breakdowns are a common challenge in healthcare. Families can play a crucial role in facilitating effective communication among healthcare providers. Encourage providers to share information and collaborate on the patient’s care plan. Additionally, keep a list of emergency contacts and ensure that all relevant parties are aware of it. This proactive approach can prevent delays in critical situations.
Advocacy for the Patient
Acting as an advocate for the patient is a vital role for family members. Be actively involved in care discussions, ask questions, and seek clarification when needed. Ensure that the patient’s voice is heard, and their preferences are considered in the decision-making process. By actively participating in the care process, families contribute to a patient-centered approach and reinforce the importance of coordinated care.
In this advocacy role, the guidance and resources provided by the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) can be invaluable. As experts in elder care, ALCA’s holistic, client-centered approach aligns perfectly with the needs of families navigating coordinated care. Flying Angels, an ACLA Bronze Partner since January 2019, is an example of a service that meets ALCA’s high standards for medical care. Their partnership with ALCA reinforces their commitment to providing quality care, particularly in non-emergency medical transport situations.
Non-Emergency Medical Transport and Coordinated Care
An important facet of coordinated care is medical transport, typically involving bringing patients to and from medical appointments. Non-emergency medical transport companies such as Flying Angels also offer patients the ability to travel with an experienced flight nurse when their journey requires flying on a commercial airline.
It’s a service that can benefit people in many different situations. They include those who need to fly for medical treatment somewhere too far to drive, those who need assistance when flying because of injury or chronic conditions, and seniors relocating to new areas.
Navigating coordinated care can be a challenging journey, but with a proactive and informed approach, families can ensure that their loved ones receive the best possible care. Building a strong support network, communicating effectively among providers, partnering with a trained and experienced medical transport company, and advocating for the patient are key strategies in achieving seamless and comprehensive coordinated care.
By embracing these principles, families can navigate the complexities of the healthcare system with confidence and empower their loved ones to lead healthier lives.