Most hospitals in the United States have a care pathway for stroke patients, but this is not the case for patients presenting with venous thromboembolism (VTE) disease including acute pulmonary embolism (PE) patients. The treatment pathway for PE patients presents challenges – where there is often no standard treatment criteria or protocol. Multiple disciplines are involved in the care workflow and treatment plan can vary based on who is involved.
The emerging VTE coordinator role
For acute stroke care, stroke coordinators play a critical role in orchestrating delivery of care to patients. This includes establishing a stroke care workflow with performance metrics, training the extended team on protocols, and measuring team performance and optimizing the workflow over time.
VTE coordinators can play the same critical role for venous thromboembolism disease by bringing a structured workflow to drive coordination and collaboration between specialists from multiple disciplines ultimately streamlining care and improving patient outcomes. Hospitals, such as Palmetto General Hospital, have developed VTE coordinator roles.
“Since implementing our PE program, we decreased ICU length of stay by 44% and reduced our re-admission rate to one third of the national average. We anticipate AI will play a critical role in the future of VTE care” – Nadine Hassan, Palmetto General Hospital.
There are three primary responsibilities for acute care coordinators: bringing the multi-disciplinary team together via defined care workflow, measuring performance and improving the workflow over time, and establishing and encouraging on-going training.
Bringing the multi-disciplinary team together
It can take a significant amount of time and effort to assemble the care team given the number of specialists involved in acute VTE care. Ensuring everyone has all relevant patient information can present a clear challenge, especially when previously there were multiple people leading the charge. Working with the extended care team, VTE coordinators can set up standard policies and procedures with clear decision points on the care pathway. This includes identifying which specialists are involved along the workflow and the information to be available at decision points. Goals are set for timely management of acute patients and patient outcomes are tracked over time.
Measuring performance and optimizing the workflow
One of the most crucial elements to improving patient outcomes is to benchmark and measure the performance and success of the VTE care team and workflow, so that the team can identify issues and address them.
VTE coordinators track team performance and help to implement quality assurance protocols and policies for efficient patient management. As with stroke care teams, with a VTE coordinator in place, a baseline of performance metrics is recorded. The coordinator will collect and analyze data to determine any gaps in the workflow and identify possible options to improve performance. VTE coordinators often reconvene the extended team to collaboratively work through ideas and suggestions for updating processes and workflows to meet performance metrics and improve patient outcomes.
Tools to help VTE coordinators succeed
Care team coordination in an acute setting is an immense challenge. AI-powered clinical decision support and workflow solutions can be powerful tools to help VTE coordinators succeed. When considering these solutions, coordinators should look to companies that go beyond the technology or app and provide services and support including workflow optimization consulting services and team training. Together, these can help VTE coordinators drive increased collaboration, seamless coordination, and on-going process improvement toward delivering improved patient outcome.
Learn more here: https://www.rapidai.com/rapid-workflow-for-pe.