According to the September 2012 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Communicating with Patients on Health Care Evidence, 97 percent of those surveyed with chronic conditions agreed that their care ought to be coordinated. Yet, only 54 percent said that their care was currently coordinated. If asked is my care for MS coordinated, at first blush I’d say yes. But then I wonder how do I recognize coordinated care? Would it be that all my providers talk to each other, work off the same data set? I realize that I am the coordinator. I ask for reports from one be sent to the others. I keep each informed about what the others are recommending and prescribing. I have a great team. I am completely satisfied with their expertise, the relationships and communication with me, and my health outcomes. My primary care doc takes her role very seriously. They all discuss options with me and seek out my personal goals and desires. They all have EMRs. Yet I am still the coordinator. Without my active coordination my care would be fragmented and based on incomplete data sets. I don’t need more than that, because it works, and I am very stable and cognitively very present and engaged. What if I weren’t? How would my care be coordinated? Would my wife or sons take it over, would my primary care doc step up? Yes, they would. Again, I’m very fortunate. I don’t see that coordinated care is the path of least resistance nationwide. It should be. How can it be?
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