An IDG meeting being described as fast might sound like an oxymoron if you’ve ever attended one.
It’s not fair to call interdisciplinary group/team (IDG/IDT) meetings a necessary evil. After all, they contribute significantly to improved patient care and compliance. Despite that, though, these meetings can be lengthy, often taking hours, and in some cases, nearly a full day to complete.
IDG meetings are about bringing the diverse team of nurses, social workers, counselors, and even physicians, together to discuss a patient’s needs and goals. This team-based approach to care is the cornerstone of the Post-Acute philosophy of care we know and love, so why are these meetings so difficult sometimes?
Well, it’s simple. It’s not the meetings. It’s the preparation they require.
If you’re anything like me, I struggle to remember even basic details about my friends and family—people I’ve known closely for years. Now, imagine trying to track down every interaction or order for not just one patient, but a whole caseload of them. It gets tough.
Preparing for IDG meetings is a feat unto itself: reviewing notes and records, following up on statuses and orders, working to understand every interaction with every patient. It’s no wonder we often feel exhausted by the time we arrive at the meeting, signing in and creating another piece of paperwork to manage. It’s no wonder we’re drowning in paperwork by the time we’re sitting at the IDG table.
So, what’s the secret? How do programs with hundreds of patients manage to run a fast, efficient, and most importantly, helpful IDG meeting? We’re fortunate to serve more than 135,000 patients every day with the help of our Hospice, PACE, and other Post-Acute partners, learning a great deal about the best IDG meeting practices in the process. Work to incorporate these IDG best-practices into your workflow to drive efficiencies, increase patient face-time, and most importantly, make IDG enjoyable and useful for the team.
Having a set agenda for the IDG meeting, and more importantly, a set agenda for each patient, will ensure a seamless review where critical information isn’t missed. Often in IDG meetings, we tend to naturally place an emphasis on the physical elements of care, marginalizing the psychosocial elements of care. By standardizing presentations and the information being reviewed, you’ll not only make the presentation and discussion easier to follow, but you’ll also make the meeting significantly easier to prepare for.
Sometimes IDG meetings can feel like a recitation of a patient’s status, rather than a true discussion of the plan of care. It’s critical during IDG meetings that we operate as a team, drawing on our unique and diverse skill sets to design the optimal plan of care for a patient. By ensuring everyone on the team feels comfortable making suggestions or challenging other’s plans, we’re able to optimize the team-based approach to care. Try asking questions such as, “do we need to evaluate this from another perspective?” or perhaps more generally, “can you tell me more about that?”
Knowing it’s the preparation that’s most challenging, it’s important to set your team up for success. Leverage the tools at your disposal for IDG meetings to quickly prepare. For example, DMETrack, our DME management portal, has an IDG report that will quickly export all of the information you need for your patients into a single, easy to read report. Any vendor focused on the post-acute space should have features that give you the tools you need for this “mission-critical” meeting. When selecting a vendor, be sure you’re asking about these types of features, as they will significantly reduce the time spent on paperwork, meaning more time to do what you love.
As advocates for the interdisciplinary approach to care, we believe IDG meetings should be a useful tool, rather than a necessary regulatory hurdle. By standardizing presentations, leveraging experience, and optimizing preparations with industry-specific technology, you’ll be better equipped to truly provide better care. Together.