Integrated Care: Why it Matters to Patients
An integrated health care experience—the practice of providing comprehensive care services—offers numerous benefits for patients. The most obvious relate to convenience, time-savings, and elimination of travel. With comprehensive services, for example, patients need to schedule only one appointment, saving them the hassle of calling and coordinating with multiple offices to book an appointment. However, the most important benefits are clinical in nature, reinforcing the importance of this practice. A substantial body of evidence suggests that integrated health care often leads to improved health outcomes through more efficient and effective coordination among care teams, knowledge of a patient’s injury or condition and subsequent treatment, and more.
At the Hand Center of Louisiana, we provide patients with an integrated health care experience that spans the three phases of their care journey. These include the initial consultation, procedure (if appropriate), and therapy.
A patient’s journey at the Hand Center of Louisiana begins with an initial consultation with one of our experienced physicians. During this meeting, we review and document the patient’s health history, perform key health assessments, and complete a thorough examination of the patient’s hand or upper extremity injury or condition. Depending on the nature of the injury, our physicians may order imaging tests (e.g., fluoroscopy, X-ray, etc.) to make the most accurate diagnosis. This represents the first aspect of our coordinated care experience. All imaging occurs at the Hand Center of Louisiana, meaning patients do not need to travel to another facility but down the hall to the appropriate room. Our onsite imaging means patients can undergo testing during their visit, expediting the review of their results to create the best treatment plan.
If a procedure is necessary, the Hand Center of Louisiana will schedule a surgery at one of three affiliated surgical hospitals: Omega Hospital, East Jefferson Ambulatory Surgical Center, and East Jefferson General Hospital. While these facilities do require patients to travel, all remain nearby and closely affiliated with our practice. Given our close connection with these hospitals, we remain in constant communication with their staff, who serve as extensions of our care team and remain knowledgeable of our patients’ unique health needs.
For patients who undergo a procedure or receive a prescription for therapy, they return to the Hand Center for their therapeutic care. Located at our facility, the Hand Therapy Center offers comprehensive therapy services for all existing patients. Importantly, by integrating therapy services in our practice, we can enroll patients in occupational therapy immediately or soon after their procedure, which helps improve the recovery process and health outcomes. Additionally, the Hand Therapy Center is a full-service facility, eliminating the need to travel and the time needed to receive essential services. For example, the Hand Therapy Center maintains the ability to create a custom-fitted splint for patients in need of one.
When it comes to health care, time, consistency, communication, and coordination all matter. An integrated health care experience leads to better clinical and financial outcomes, a reason we are fully committed to providing our patients a seamless, coordinated health care journey.