Despite significant overlap in workflow and processes, most clinical service lines operate as distinct entities and often have a “silo mentality.”
But operating as separate entities can lead to confusion and frustration for physicians, clinical staff and patients. When hospitals are clinically integrated, all relevant departments and healthcare providers work together — from the time a patient enters the hospital, throughout their hospital experience and into the post-discharge period. Clinical integration enhances physician accountability for shared clinical standards while creating economies of scale and greater operational efficiencies that ultimately improve the patient experience.
When departmental “silos” are removed, clinicians discover new and innovative ways to work together that benefit the patient and the hospital. For hospital administrators who have not explored clinical integration, here are six reasons why you should consider this more coordinated, cohesive way of providing patient care.
1. Improve Quality and Safety Outcomes
When members of a patient’s care team work together throughout the patient’s hospital stay, there are fewer chances for miscommunication or errors. Integrating services allows for better process flow and coordination of care, which in turn helps improve patient safety and the quality of care clinicians provide.
2. Enhance the Patient Experience
By developing a comprehensive approach to integrating services, clinicians can better streamline patient care, like improved ED throughput and patient handoffs, and ensure continuity of care. From smoother patient handoffs to more efficient throughput, the patient experience improvements can be substantial. Patients report higher levels of satisfaction when they know their caregivers are communicating with one another and working as a team to provide the best care possible.
3. Improve Clinician Engagement and Satisfaction
Clinicians can encounter unnecessary roadblocks because of lack of collective accountability and relationships across service lines. By working together to establish and implement processes and protocols among different departments, physicians and advanced practice clinicians enjoy greater collaboration and communication with their colleagues, and the chance to deliver better, more efficient care. This can have a positive impact on turnover rates.
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