You’ve probably heard of collaborative care before. But what exactly does it mean? And why should you consider it?
Definition Of Collaborative Care
Collaborative care is a model that involves multiple providers working together to provide comprehensive, continuous, and coordinated care for patients experiencing chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease with co-occurring depression or anxiety. This approach has been proven effective in managing these kinds of conditions.
In the past, primary care physicians were often responsible for meeting patients’ entire health needs. Now, they work with other healthcare professionals to treat their patients.
For example, behavioral health specialists may work with primary care doctors to help manage depression or anxiety disorders. Even pharmacists may help since they can offer assistance in certain areas, such as preventive care and medication management and adherence.
Why Should You Consider Collaborative Care?
A collaborative care delivery provided by reputable companies like Neuroflow can be an excellent option. The following is a list of reasons why it’s worth considering collaborative care.
Better Health Outcomes
First, collaborative care may improve patients’ overall health outcomes. For instance, studies have shown that people who receive collaborative care experience fewer hospitalizations than those who don’t. This means that collaborative care may reduce unnecessary costs associated with acute illness.
When doctors collaborate with nurses, social workers, psychologists, dietitians, and others, they can better coordinate care and ensure that all team members understand each other’s roles and responsibilities. As a result, patients get better access to services and treatments that will help them live healthier lives.
Improved Patient Satisfaction
Another benefit of collaborative care is improved patient satisfaction. When patients feel cared for and supported, they’re more likely to adhere to their prescribed regimens. They’re also less likely to feel hopeless and helpless.
With collaborative care, patients may see various providers throughout their treatment. This helps ensure they receive the most appropriate level of support at any given time. As a consequence, they feel more comfortable and confident that they’re getting the best care available.
Aside from positive patient outcomes, collaborative care offers financial benefits: lower medical costs.
When doctors collaborate with other healthcare professionals, they can share information about their patients’ progress and develop strategies to address problems as early as possible. And because they work with others, they’re able to intervene at the right time and prevent costly complications.
More Effective Treatment
As mentioned earlier, patients who receive collaborative care are more likely to adhere to treatment plans and follow-ups. For example, if a patient is diagnosed with diabetes, they may need to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly. If a doctor collaborates with a nurse, a psychologist, or a pharmacist, they’ll have an easier time keeping track of their patient’s blood sugar levels and provide necessary information to guide their patient.
Furthermore, when it comes to behavioral health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, collaborative care can help patients learn how to cope with symptoms, stay on top of their medication, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Moreover, collaborative care can enhance efficiency. It’s common for doctors to spend hours trying to identify a patient’s health condition. But working with other healthcare professionals will help them figure out the problem faster.
So, with collaborative care, doctors can spend some time focusing on other patients who require more attention. And since they won’t have to chase down leads anymore, they’ll be able to concentrate on other aspects of patient care. In addition, they avoid conducting repeat tests or procedures, saving on valuable resources.
Higher Quality Care
Doctors who collaborate with others are more likely to follow evidence-based practices and guidelines for treating certain conditions.
For instance, physicians can access the latest research and clinical studies related to specific diseases if they work with a nurse practitioner. They can also ask questions and get answers from experts in the field.
Another example is physicians teaming up with pharmacists. Pharmacists can review prescriptions and suggest alternatives based on current medical literature. On top of that, they can educate patients about medications and answer any questions they might have. Thus, with their assistance, physicians are able to prescribe safe and effective drugs.
Improved Quality of Life
Lastly, collaborative care can improve the quality of life of patients, as well as their families. In fact, patients who receive comprehensive care are likely to experience fewer negative emotions and better overall mental well-being.
Plus, they’re more likely to make positive changes in their lives. For instance, through continuous care, they exercise regularly, quit smoking, or adopt a healthy diet. These positive behaviors lead to improvements in physical health and a better quality of life.
Who Can Benefit From Collaborative Care?
Anyone who needs additional support to manage chronic illnesses can benefit from collaborative care. However, there are certain groups of people who stand to gain the most from this type of care:
- Older Adults: Older people are at greater risk of developing chronic illness than younger individuals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 60% of older American adults have two or more chronic conditions.
- People With Multiple Chronic Conditions: This group is especially vulnerable to poor outcomes because they tend to have more complex issues. When they don’t receive adequate treatment, they become sicker and less functional. But with collaborative care, they will get the help they need to manage their conditions simultaneously.
- Individuals Who Are Not Adherent To Their Medication Regimen: Adherence refers to how often someone takes their medication as prescribed. Note that it doesn’t just apply to prescription drugs. Nonadherence can occur with regard to lifestyle choices, such as eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and staying active. By accessing resources like those provided by collaborative practitioners, patients can learn ways to stay healthier and adhere to their medication regimens.
- Those Who Have Coexisting Mental Health Issues: Mental health problems can affect your physical ability to care for yourself. If you have depression, anxiety, or another mood disorder, you might find it challenging to maintain good nutritional habits or exercise regularly. Using collaborative care can help you address both your physical and mental health concerns at the same time.
Collaborative care is an effective way to treat many chronic illnesses. When they work closely with other healthcare professionals, doctors provide patients with the highest quality care possible. They also help reduce the number of unnecessary visits and hospitalizations and encourage their patients to stick with their recommended treatments.