In the coming years, we will be hearing a lot about coordination of care. Two recent items highlight this trend.

First, is the concept of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). Basically, the PMCH model calls for each patient to be under the care of a personal physician who is responsible for coordinating that patient’s care among a team of physicians/specialists as required. The concept takes a “whole person” view of providing health care to individuals.

The PMCH concept has been around for awhile, but is gaining traction as it becomes more imperative that we find ways to reduce America’s balooning health care costs. IBM in particular has been championing the PMCH concept. A recent study internal to IBM employees reported a 36 percent reduction in hospital days, a 32 percent drop in emergency room use, and a 9.6 percent drop in total cost. IBM attributes these results to “robust prevention in primary care” accomplished by their implementation of the PMCH model. You can read more on IBM’s program here.

Second is hc1.com’s “Healthcare Relationship Management” product (HRM). The HRM product is a cloud-based service that is designed to provide easier, quicker and better coordination between medical practices and labs. According to hc1.com’s CEO, Brad Bostic (thanks, Medgadget), the product “addresses the critical need for healthcare professionals, spanning multiple healthcare disciplines and entities, to effectively work together, allowing patients to receive better care at a lower cost”. Bostic stresses that one of the most critical relationships in healthcare exists between medical labs and healthcare providers. The HRM product is intended to optimize the relationships between healthcare professionals by coordinating information sent to labs and providing an overview of what’s happening in the entire system.