Interface Between Hospital and Outpatient Neurology

Published on 14/05/2017 by admin

Filed under Neurology

Last modified 14/05/2017

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Monico Peter Baňez, MD, MBA, FACP, SFHM

Progressively fewer neurologists embrace the traditional model of combined outpatient and inpatient care, and this has introduced difficulties with continuity of care. Not only do patients generally want to see the same providers, but many providers may feel that they are left out of the loop if communication is not optimal. Lack of continuity presents greater opportunities for medical errors, such as late-resulting labs being overlooked or planned medication adjustments not being made.

These difficulties are not insurmountable. Most electronic medical record (EMR) systems have the capability of secure messaging to facilitate secure transfer of information and notification of events. Also, Health information Exchanges (HIE) are becoming more robust, aiding communication between enterprises.

However, no technical solution can replace the personal touch. An increasing number of EMRs will notify primary care providers (PCP) if one of their patients has been hospitalized. A brief visit by the PCP can make a major difference for the concerned patient whose life is in the hands of strangers. As hospital neurologists, we should help maintain continuity of care and help PCPs maintain their connections with their patients.


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