Closed loop communication is a defined strategy that’s frequently used in complex environments, such as acute care settings, to reliably exchange critical information quickly and concisely.
With this technique, an individual shares information with another person and the receiver repeats the information back and asks any follow-up questions to gain clarity. The person initiating the communication confirms the message has been understood and closes the loop on the interaction.
This structured approach ensures key details don’t slip through the cracks. It also serves as an efficient way to verify and cross-check information.
What if we applied this same closed-loop strategy more broadly, using the theory behind it to guide how we continuously care for our communities’ frailest patients?
These patients often have complex care needs. They frequently have multiple chronic conditions along with significant economic and environmental challenges. They may or may not have seen their doctor recently, or they may have multiple physicians who don’t share information with one another.
For these patients to receive the best possible treatment in the timeliest fashion, health care organizations need to efficiently share information about these individuals, respond to any gaps in their care, and make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
By using a closed-loop approach to this multifaceted process, organizations could see:
- Better patient outcomes because providers are less likely to miss critical care needs;
- Lower care costs because interventions are more proactive, and there is less inadvertent care duplication;
- Smoother patient experiences because people can access the right treatments more efficiently;
- Increased likelihood that patients are more engaged in their care long term, and;
- Better communications between providers and health plans to strengthen care planning and coordination.
How can we apply a closed-loop approach to care for the frailest patients? It requires several foundational elements.
Dr. Joe Nicholson is the Chief Medical Officer of CareAllies. Check out the CareAllies Exhibit Booth here!