Continuity of care occurs when healthcare professionals and patients work together to experience high-quality, satisfactory medical care over time.
Continuity of care involves both the patient and the provider and can be interpreted from both perspectives.
Patient’s continuity of care
A patient’s continuity of care involves maintaining a relationship with a healthcare provider. Practitioners can improve patient experience and health outcomes with effective secure patient outreach which leads to successful patient activation.
Because patients are most likely to have longitudinal relationships with their pediatricians, family physicians, and internists, taken together, these primary care doctors are integral to translating continuity into meaningful care coordination.
Provider’s continuity of care
From the provider’s perspective, continuity of care is more complex. Because many patients work with multiple health care professionals simultaneously, doctors must communicate with one another across various networks.
However, the segmented medical industry creates silos for providers. Isolated databases create obstacles when communicating from office to office.
Providers must have effective communication between each other to optimize continuity of care for patients. Ideally patients receive seamless service made possible by all of their providers integrating, coordinating, and sharing information between each other.
Continuity of care document, CCD
The continuity of care document, or CCD, was established to create a standardized method for more efficient communication between providers.
CCDs can also be called a summary of care document or a summarization of episode note, among other names.
A CCD is an electronic, comprehensive clinical summary for a specific patient. CCDs are shared between providers to transmit important patient information in a standardized format.
Typically CCDs include patient information such as demographics, medical history, medications, past procedures, allergies, diagnosis, lab results, and more.
However, a CCD is not intended to be the complete medical history of a patient. It may only include information which is critical for continuity of care.
Why continuity of care and CCDs are important
Continuity of care is important for medical professionals because it affects their workflow and productivity, which determines the quality of care they are able to deliver.
CCDs have greatly improved provider communication by seamlessly providing vital medical details without extra steps for medical professionals and their staff.
In addition to improving patient information exchange between providers, CCDs have become a tool for medical research and public health.
Continuity of care in the modern age
Continuity of care and CCDs are one part of the digital transformation of healthcare.
The positive impact of technology has opened doors to better data sharing as well as improved dialogue among health care providers, which leads to better continuity of care for all.
One of the best ways to connect with patients in the modern age is through email. It is important to use a HIPAA compliant email solution to ensure proper security.
Paubox Marketing is the only HIPAA compliant marketing solution that allows medical professionals to effectively communicate with patients en masse without relying on portals, passwords, or logins.
Paubox Marketing is unique because providers can safely store protected health information (PHI) on the platform and also include it in the personalized emails that they send.
Continuity of care is continually improving thanks to the implementation and adoption of CCDs. This is just one more way that technology is helping bridge the gap between patients and providers.