When patients are admitted and discharged from the ER, their primary care doctor often doesn’t know about it until the next time the patient comes in for a regular check up. Transferring crucial information from one place and one clinician to another is a responsibility placed on the patient. With electronic medical record programs at odds with each other and available communication systems ranging from clunky to dysfunctional, we need a better way to share basic patient information.
To ease the transition of care, improve follow up, and strengthen health outcomes, it’s crucial that distributed clinicians communicate. Ideally, the electronic medical record would be used to alert all a patient’s clinicians to a development in their health. Until that happens, an app could triage with specialists and the patient’s primary care provider. The information gathered and shared would be agreed upon by the patient and their clinicians—so everyone gets what they need to connect and coordinate follow up care.