Do you want to make the most out of your health care network to ensure your patients get the care and support you deserve? This is why more providers are embracing the Clinically Integrative Network as an alternative to traditional practices. This is a collective of health care organizations in a geographic area where providers have joint access to electronic health records.
This benefits both the providers and the patients, as transferring patient information from a general practitioner to a specialist becomes easier than ever. Doctors waste less time on paperwork and tracking down information, and patients are able to have a smoother continuum of care. Here are some reasons your health care facility could benefit from this transition.
The Benefits of CINs for Patients
Finding the right physician can be challenging, especially for patients who get their health care through an HMO or other structured provider. It’s too common for patients to be assigned to a primary doctor without input. However, this is changing as the importance of patient-centered care becomes more central to medical philosophy. But even if a patient can choose their own doctor, there are other obstacles in the way – such as the ability to reach a specialist’s office or the resources to search for the physician who best suits their needs.
This is changing with the addition of CINs into the medical field. By unifying a larger network of practices and specialists, even if they’re not grouped together in a health care practice, doctors can better find specialists who fit their patient’s needs. It’s easier to switch back and forth between multiple medical providers for different needs and to coordinate treatment. It’s possible that a course of treatment for one ailment may interfere with another, like medications with counter-indications. This will keep all involved physicians on the same page.
Thanks to the shared electronic resources, there is also a better chance of speedy and efficient medical care. When transferring to a new specialist, they will often need medical history to get up to speed on the patient’s needs. Originally, paper copies could take days or weeks to make their way over. Even with an electronic system, it was necessary to find the right address and send the e-mail. A CIN can be as simple as pressing a button to automatically transfer the file from one in-network provider to the other, meaning treatment plans can begin on the same business day.
The Benefits of CINs for Physicians
One of the biggest challenges of running a practice is often dealing with insurance agencies. In order to keep care affordable for patients, doctors often have to negotiate with insurance to cover certain treatments and medications. Doctors involved in a larger network have more leverage with these companies, and in general, working with a CIN allows doctors to manage their revenue better. Independent practitioners, in particular, are likely to have a leg up on better revenue cycle management.
What is revenue cycle management? This is a clinical facility’s process to keep track of their billing, accounts, revenue, and coding. It can be a challenging process for a large practice or one with a fast-growing client base, and a standardized system among many practices makes it much easier. This is just one of the many systems that independent practitioners gain access to when they join a CIN, when they might not have been able to afford it independently. CINs make for a compelling middle ground between going it alone and joining a larger medical practice or HMO.
Whether one is an independent physician or part of a larger practice, communication is the key to ensuring positive healthcare outcomes for your patients. Having the patient’s medical history and past and present physicians available at the press of a button makes it much easier to develop a treatment plan. Rather than having to figure out whether a previous treatment plan could be a problem, it’s easy to get the past doctor on the phone for a conversation. Doctors who are part of a CIN are still independent, but have access to a much larger network of support.
A Superior System
Have you considered a CIN for your medical practice? More small and mid-sized practices are joining these loosely affiliated provider networks. They provide better outcomes for both physicians and patients.
Patients benefit when doctors are able to talk to each other more regularly. Physicians benefit from the leverage a larger group of patient advocates provides. Together, these systems allow health care providers to create a better, more sustainable way to treat patients.