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Care Coordination Software: What is Clinical Content?

September 7th, 2021 | 5 min. read



Content Team

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Software solutions for Chronic Care Management (CCM), Annual Wellness Visit (AWV), Transitional Care Management (TCM), or other preventive Medicare programs utilize content — both written and graphical. 

This media includes interview questionnaires for patients, data visualizations, and overviews of health conditions, as well as diagnostic tools.      

Experienced medical clinicians write and design it. They then supply it to the software development team. This is where the two disciplines (healthcare and technology) meet.

But, are individual medical providers who lease these software solutions able to create and incorporate their content? 

The answer is: It depends. 

Software vendors limit the ability to adapt or alter clinical content. This attitude is meant to stave off certain liability issues or protect against an audit by Medicare

That said, some companies will work with clients, in conjunction with experienced clinicians, to produce certain types of content. 

At ThoroughCare, we’ve worked with more than 600 clinics and physician practices to develop useful tools for value-based, integrated patient care. 

Clinical content is but one detail, though a crucial one. 

In this article, we’ll define what clinical content is, who produces it (and why), and how it can be tailored to particular needs. 

This will further inform your buying decision as you shop for a solution

What is Clinical Content?

Clinical content accounts for the various media elements within care coordination software. It helps staff and medical providers do their job. 

This content includes several elements, which we cover below. 

Care Plan Creation Questionnaire

Programs such as CCM or Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) require the creation of a patient-centered care plan. This document is the guidepost for how a patient will be cared for. 

It covers priority health goals, agreed-to interventions, medical history, a list of medications, and any needs for coordinated care services. A care plan is drafted and reviewed with the patient.    

The process can be done manually, based on your organization’s interview process. Software can automate the work, though, as well as supply the interview template. 

Some templates offer already-written, relevant questions, and logical, selectable answers. This will save time for clinical staff, as well as ensure an accurate and effective care plan. 

Data Visualizations

Care coordination software will collect patient data, especially when it is used Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). Visualization tools will help analyze and make use of it.    

Visualizations can include charts or graphs, as well as interactive graphics. These can drill down into and isolate specific data elements. 

Medical providers can use this to pay particular attention to a certain condition. This will help further inform the patient of where they stand, health-wise.   

Overviews of Health Conditions 

For clinical staff, content that provides facts about common health conditions, such as chronic illnesses like diabetes or hypertension, makes for effective patient communication

While a doctor may have this information at the tip of their tongue, a staff member tasked with administering certain preventive health program requirements may appreciate the help

This content is typically in a written format. It is programmed into modules that support care plan creation or review, as well as general patient enrollment. 

Diagnostic Tools

Similar to a care plan questionnaire, the software can offer interview templates to diagnose health conditions. 

This tool can also recommend interventions or resources that may be effective in the treatment of conditions.  

Experienced clinicians typically author the content that guides staff or a medical provider through the diagnosis. We’ll cover the specifics of this expertise in further detail below.  

This type of content provides another means for effective patient engagement. 

This helps limit the amount of time required by the doctor. It also promotes staff ownership of various preventive health programs.

Why Trust Care Coordination Software’s Clinical Content?

Clinical content isn’t thrown together. 

It is carefully prepared, thoroughly peer-reviewed, and rigorously edited by experienced health professionals. 

Often, they develop their work with institutional recommendations, such as from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)

Their work should also follow the rules and regulations relevant to Medicare or another agency. 

This provides an extra layer of scrutiny and standard, apart from the software company’s judgment. 

It also ensures the accuracy and reliability of the team’s work. And it protects against various liabilities or an audit by Medicare.

When shopping for care coordination software, it’s important to ask the vendor how and by who the content was authored. You’ll want to know its legitimacy. 

This assurance will benefit and guard your organization. It will also serve your patients.  

Can I Tailor or Create Clinical Content?

As mentioned in this article’s introduction, it all depends. 

Most care coordination software vendors will not recommend this course of action. 

And for good reason. You should want to work with a software company that is not gung-ho about creating clinical content frivolously

Why? Well, as alluded to above, there are potential legal ramifications

Since you will be using care coordination software to help treat patients, everything must be by the book. There can be a lot at stake.

Even if you’re an expert in chronic conditions or behavioral health, it is not wise to take the leap and draft content for actual healthcare purposes

Your expertise in those areas does not equate to expertise in the associated programs, themselves. They abide by rules and regulations governed by complex agencies. 

All this said, sometimes (depending on the request) software providers will work with clients to create specific content

They will do so in collaboration with their clinical team, who will properly vet and field test the desired content. Software developers can then incorporate it into the technology you use. 

As you shop for a solution, discuss what options are available with potential software vendors. Make sure what you’re buying makes sense for your needs. 

Explore Software for Additional Features

In terms of clinical content, ThoroughCare offers many of the options detailed above. 

Our content is developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and our clinical team holds more than 50 years of collective experience. 

Our software modules are designed exactly to federal rules and regulations for Medicare’s preventive, value-based care programs, and they’re easy to use and understand. 

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