Consensus on Care Transitions: Time for All of Us to Step Up to the Plate

Summary and Comment |
October 9, 2009

Consensus on Care Transitions: Time for All of Us to Step Up to the Plate

  1. Daniel D. Dressler, MD, MSc, FHM

Major professional organizations put forth recommendations on managing patient transitions between inpatient and outpatient settings.

  1. Daniel D. Dressler, MD, MSc, FHM

Previous research on care transitions between inpatient and outpatient settings has revealed a high rate of medication discrepancies, lack of adequate and timely communication between caregivers during transitions, and minimal involvement of patients and families in the transition process. To address these issues, the Transitions of Care Consensus Conference convened a multidisciplinary group that represented more than 30 major medical professional organizations, including general internists, hospitalists, geriatricians, and emergency medicine physicians, and government agencies. This group was charged with identifying a core set of principles for effective care transitions and defining a set of standards to achieve the basic tenets of those principles (Table).

Comment

Safe and seamless transitions are imperative for ensuring quality healthcare. This consensus statement from stakeholder organizations paves the way for establishing minimum standards and best practices in transition processes. Hospitals, other healthcare organizations, and clinicians must inculcate a culture of multidisciplinary collaboration by developing and supporting standards of documentation and communication — with a focus on measuring and improving outcomes — for the care-transition period.

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Reader Comments (1)

Igor Borshcher

thresh over old straw

Competing interests: None declared

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