Joint Commission Report Stresses Collaboration to Improve Care Transitions

February 27, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Developing ways to assure safe transitions of care requires collaboration among providers all along the care continuum, states a February 19, 2013, report from the Joint Commission. Second in a series of Hot Topics in Health Care reports, Transitions of Care: The Need for Collaboration across Entire Care Continuum provides details on common approaches providers and organizations use in successful transitions of care, common challenges, variables of successful transitions, and measuring the effectiveness of transitions. The report’s recommendations—which were developed from published research; the insights of healthcare leaders, discharge nurses, physicians, care coordinators, case managers, and social workers who participated in focus groups; and on-site visits to the facilities of four healthcare organizations—are designed to improve patient outcomes and reduce avoidable hospital readmissions. Activities identified in the report as having a positive effect on transitions include using verbal communication during handoffs, using electronic health records, and assigning accountability for transition-related tasks and outcomes.

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