At first glance, it can often seem that our healthcare system is broken. Countless companies and thought leaders talk about overhauling the entire system. Costs are rising, interoperability is lacking, and quality needs to be improved across the board.
Many people fear being a patient in a hospital. In reality, what happens when the patient leaves is often more confusing, disjointed, and even dangerous.
Across America, healthcare is retreating from rural communities. Rural hospitals are closing at alarming rates, and nearly two-thirds of the Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas deemed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) are in rural communities.
At 58 years old, Ms. G had diabetes and high blood pressure. She was also overweight and battled depression. After a regular visit with her primary care physician (PCP), Ms. G was referred to a mental health center for heightened depression and was later sent home. That’s where her journey began.
At 8:24 a.m. on Thursday, June 22nd 2017, the average emergency department wait time at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts was nine minutes. We know that not because we visited the ED that day, but because we visited their Yelp listing.
Americans can’t live without their phones, and healthcare professionals are not immune either.
On average, we spend five hours each day on mobile technology, and 77% of Americans own smartphones. In a 2012 study of healthcare professionals, 87% of doctors reported using smartphones or tablets on the job, and recent small-sample reports indicate that the number is rising.
Since the GOP began talks of a new healthcare bill during the 2016 campaign, there has been much debate about what the future of healthcare might look like. On May 4, a glimpse was provided: the Republicans introduced the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill that would eliminate many of the provisions the Affordable Care Act (ACA) afforded.
Imagine that your knee has been bothering you. You visit your primary care physician who then refers you to a specialist. The specialist decides you need surgery. After surgery, you are discharged home or to a skilled nursing facility. Through each step of the care episode, you move from one provider to the next, but no one is truly coordinating your care during the transitions and no one is ensuring an optimal outcome.
Each year, clinicians make 13 million post-acute referrals for Medicare patients.
With healthcare providers facing increased pressure to both lower costs and improve quality, post-acute care after hospitalization is a logical choice—it provides a safe, personalized environment in which patients can be cared for and healed by professionals. For many patients and families, however, the choice is not so obvious.