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Making the Case for Better Communication in Healthcare

Will electronic medical records make it easier for your doctor, your pharmacist and your specialist to communicate about your care?

Cheri Lattimer and Debbie White warn that pitfalls of effective communication that exist now could easily be carried over to a future full of electronic record keeping.

That’s why their healthcare group – the National Transitions of Care Coalition - is working to identify and rectify communication barriers for all patients and families whether or not go paperless.

Lattimer is the executive director of the Case Management Society of America, one of the co-founding groups of the National Transitions of Care Coalition, and White is a project coordinator for the coalition.

One tool they suggest to keep everyone on your medical team in the loop- including you- is an eight question “Take Care of My Healthcare” worksheet. Questions include “Which doctor or other health care provider will I see next and why?” and “Besides taking my medicines, what else do I need to do?”

They say another important tool is a case manager – a nurse, social worker, pharmacist, physician or other provider who is the “hub” of a patient’s healthcare team.

Lattimer suggests that all patients ask for a case manager if one hasn’t been assigned, and ask if additional costs are associated with that care.

To learn more about these and other strategies that can keep you more informed about your medical care - particularly when transferring among medical facilites - press play on the audio player and visit the links below.

More information

The National Transitions of Care Coalition is chaired and coordinated by the Case Management Society of America in partnership with sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC.


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