14A concussion clinic or network of providers should have clear internal and external communication mechanisms in order to improve coordination of care.
Continuity of care is enhanced by both internal and external communication mechanisms. Up to this point post-concussion care in Ontario has been fragmented due to the absence of a clear post-concussion pathway and a clear structure for concussion clinics and networks of providers. One of the core functions of a concussion clinic is “Coordination”; this is in recognition of the important role of both internal and external communication and the potential number of different practitioners and service providers involved managing prolonged symptoms.
Within an interdisciplinary care environment it is important that someone plays the role that ensures communication occurs, both within the clinic/network of providers and external to the clinic/network. External communication can be vital between post-concussion care providers and non-healthcare settings to arrange accommodations and support return to regular activity.
What this standard means:
Internal communication: By observing a universal post-concussion pathway with clear roles and timelines, communication should be improved leading to coordinated, seamless and efficient post-concussion care. In order to practice as an interdisciplinary team, providers at the clinic should have access to one another’s reports and/or progress notes on the patient. If care is being provided within an interdisciplinary network of care, healthcare providers should remain updated on the patient’s progress to date, with case conferences being preferable.
External communication: Communication beyond the healthcare professionals can be essential with schools, workplaces, and support organizations (i.e., non-healthcare settings). Having clear communication processes and preferably a designated person to perform this role will be required to ensure that patients are optimally supported to return to activity.