Transition management is a massive part of any healthcare organization that has patients. When a certain patient has needs that can no longer be fulfilled by your practice, or simply need to move to another clinic or hospital for other reasons, it's up to both healthcare organizations—the one the patient is going to and the one they car coming from—to ensure the transition goes smoothly.
But, this is easier said than done. So, to help you clean up your patient transitions go smoothly, here are three transition management tips. And, we'll end things with a brief IT checklist to ensure security for your patients, past and present.
3 Transition Management Tips For Medical Practices
Create a Concrete System For Clarity
Documenting your organization's specific process and making it available for those who need it is a great way to ensure that your patient's transitions go smoothly.
Without a documented procedure in place that outlines how everything should be done—like when it comes to sharing the medical records with the new organization—you'll avoid running into problems.
The more thorough you are when documenting your process, the better off all parties involved will be. Just make sure that you are being detailed with both situations that may occur—patients leaving your care for another organization, and patients coming to you from another clinic or hospital.
Allow an Opportunity for Feedback From the Patient and Family
Even if the transition goes well on your end, that doesn't mean that all the parties involved had good experiences as well. By giving the patients, as well as their family members, the chance to provide feedback, you can correct any issues that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.
This can be a follow-up email, phone call, or just a piece of paper they can fill out. Make sure that you are open to making changes to your procedures and that many eyes see any feedback. If you allow for feedback but don't consider making any changes because of it, then you're leaving other patients at risk of not having a great transition experience.
Collaborate With Your Information Technology Team
Your information technology team is a crucial part of your transition management process. Without them, getting records where they need to go would be troubling, and errors would be frequent. So, when it comes to planning your transition procedures and then implementing them, make sure that your IT team is heavily involved. They may have some good suggestions, and the process will go much smoother if they have full transparency on what is going on.
And, when it comes to making sure that your IT systems are secure, here is a brief checklist of information technology details to make sure you have locked down.
IT Checklist For Transition Management
Review HIPAA Guidelines
Perhaps the most essential part of your transition management is making sure that it is all up to code when it comes to HIPAA. This is especially true for processes that involve information technology.
Because HIPAA is very extensive, it may help to use a checklist to ensure that you meet all the criteria. Check out our helpful HIPAA compliance checklist here, as well as some helpful additional HIPAA details. And, if you need any assistance with ensuring that your processes are HIPAA compliant, make sure to reach out to Medicus IT. We offer HIPAA Compliance services so you can be confident that you're doing everything by the book.
When Transferring Documents, Be Sure it is Done so Securely
You should create a well-documented and detailed process for how to properly send any patient records to other organizations to ensure their safety and security.
Properly Dispose of Patient Records When They Are No Longer Needed
When it comes to getting rid of data, there is a certain way it must be done. Failure to get rid of records or hard drives in a manner that is HIPAA compliant will result in fines, as well as an increased chance that the patient data becomes compromised. So, when it comes to getting rid of records the right way, make sure to comb over the exact specifications that must be met according to HIPAA.
For a resource on the proper hard drive destruction process under HIPAA, click here.