Healthcare systems have achieved greater heights and are no more confined to medical check-ups and treatment procedures. It now extends to the next phase of care – patient follow-up care. Follow up care involves regular medical check-ups to track the effectiveness of the medical procedures carried out up till then. It is the process of setting up patient schedules post medication or surgery on a specified date to check on the progress of the patients since his/her last appointment with the physician. Follow up plays a crucial role in healthcare as it helps care-givers understand the effectiveness of the cure and make further assessments accordingly. However, there must be a proper procedure for patient follow-up.
Set follow-up objectives
Healthcare providers must agree on the reason for taking follow-up sessions from patients. They can be:
- To confirm medicine effectiveness
- To monitor patient’s health
- To share lab results
- To reinforce action plans
- To get referrals
Check with patients to record their information
It is the patient himself who can give a transparent feedback of what has happened to him post treatment. Therefore, the best way to monitor the progress of patients’ health is the patient himself and the information that he shares with the care-giver. Patients can record their values for routine monitoring of certain parameters like weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, etc. And most importantly, healthcare providers must express their gratitude towards patients for recording this information. By utilizing telemedicine and patient entries, specialists are expanding patient engagement and accordingly effectively accomplishing almost 8% higher Medicare repayment.
Identify authorities who will follow-up with the patients
Value based care is a result of a 360 degree contribution in medicinal services and has changed the parameters of therapeutic treatment methodology. Depending on the purpose of follow-up, healthcare authorities must decide on who will follow-up with the patients:
Nurse and Medical Assistant: Nurses and medical assistants are trained professionals who possess the expertise to follow-up with the patients to review the documented data related to patient’s health. Nurses can also review medicine adherence and clarify lab results.
Primary health clinician: For more complex healthcare conditions, a primary health clinician must be referred to.
Other office staff: The front desk staff can intervene if the patient requires information about scheduling appointments, provide community resources, and confirm with the patients whether they have followed up with the referrals.
Decide on the medium used for follow-up
Telephone: While talking on the phone, patients can be comfortable to ask questions.
Email: Communicating through emails is a secure and convenient channel to exchange information that is provided by many patient portals.
Postal mail: This medium is suitable only for exchanging basic documents such as normal lab results and appointment reminders.
Texts: Many patients prefer to get their medical information on their fingertips. For them, sending reminders through text messaging is a convenient and very easy medium of communication.
Automated calling system: This system is a mechanized way of collecting necessary health related information such as blood pressure from patients.
Track follow-up schedules for better outcome
Following up for the sake of adhering to the healthcare standards is not sufficient as it needs to be ensured to follow proper methodologies. Healthcare providers need to discuss with clinical colleagues as to which patients need follow-up procedures and identify an appropriate schedule for the same.
Establishing patient follow-up must ideally be the first priority of healthcare providers before discharging any patient from the hospital. As mentioned above, there are various factors that are responsible for a successful follow-up procedure. Who actually needs the follow-up sessions, who must be responsible for conducting follow-up sessions, what kind of follow-up is required, what medium is to be used, etc. The demand for systematic and organized patient follow-up procedures is outgrowing and healthcare providers must adhere to the standard guidelines. At Lifecycle Health, we embrace the complete life cycle of a medical treatment procedure that ends with proper follow-up care of our patients. You can contact us by filling in your details here: http://www.lifecyclehealth.com/get-started/ and experience a dramatic way to effective patient cure.
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