Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can data motivate hospital leaders to improve care transitions?

Date:
September 2, 2014
Source:
University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Summary:
Implementing guidelines can improve hospitals' communication during patient care transitions, a new study shows. The researchers found that auditing hospitals' adherence to the standards and providing staff with periodic reports comparing their facility's performance to the group's -- a quality improvement technique called audit and feedback -- significantly increased the frequency with which hospital staff communicated necessary information to outpatients' primary care physicians.

What happens when you are hospitalized, but your outpatient doctor does not know? Or when you arrive at the office for follow-up care, but your doctor does not have the right information about your hospital stay? Missing or incomplete communication from hospitals to outpatient primary care physicians (PCPs) can contribute to poor experiences and lead to hospital readmissions.

However, a new study shows that implementing guidelines can improve hospitals' communication during patient care transitions. Researchers from Healthcentric Advisors collaborated with Rhode Island health care providers, health plans, state agencies, and other stakeholders to develop communication standards and then worked with 10 hospitals to monitor adherence to the standards.

The researchers found that auditing hospitals' adherence to the standards and providing staff with periodic reports comparing their facility's performance to the group's -- a quality improvement technique called audit and feedback -- significantly increased the frequency with which hospital staff communicated necessary information to outpatient PCPs:

• Clinical information sent at discharge increased from 30 percent to 94 percent

• Hospital clinicians' contact information provided at discharge increased from 63 percent to 97 percent

• Notification of hospitalization increased from 82 percent to 87 percent

The frequency with which hospital staff scheduled follow-up appointments also increased from 55 percent to 90 percent. At the same time, Rhode Island's overall readmission rate decreased more than 18 percent -- from 14.12 to 11.52 per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries.

"These communication processes seem very logistical and intuitive," says Rosa Baier, MPH, Senior Scientist at Healthcentric Advisors and lead author of the study. "Most people assume that this type of communication is already occurring, and are really surprised to learn how much it varies from one clinician to another, even at the same hospital. An intervention like this one allows staff to see how well their hospital is performing and then use that information to improve."

The findings highlight the value of using data to drive improvement in health care. Improved communication can impact both patients' experiences during care transitions and also hospitals' relationships with the outpatient PCPs in their communities.

"These data show that we're succeeding in improving provider-to-provider communication," said Dr. Stefan Gravenstein, Clinical Director at Healthcentric Advisors, Interim Chief of the Division of Geriatrics at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. "But we still have to improve providers' communication with patients and caregivers. Engaging patients in their care is an important part of high-quality transitions from one setting to another."

Dr. Gravenstein also commented on the value of involving a third party, like Healthcentric Advisors, in statewide quality improvement work. Healthcentric Advisors is the Medicare-designated Quality Improvement Organization for the six New England states.

"It's helpful to have a trusted and neutral partner to aggregate, analyze, and share data," agreed Dr. Rebekah Gardner, Senior Medical Scientist at Healthcentric Advisors and an attending physician at Rhode Island Hospital. "We're able to provide information back to the hospitals about how their facility, and the community as a whole, is doing."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Hospitals Case Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rosa R Baier, Lorraine A. Limpahan, Kristen Butterfield, Maureen Marsella, Stefan Gravenstein, Rebekah L. Gardner. Is audit and feedback associated with increased hospital adherence to standards for communication during patient care transitions? Journal of Hospital Administration, August 2014

Cite This Page:

University Hospitals Case Medical Center. "Can data motivate hospital leaders to improve care transitions?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 September 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902114045.htm>.
University Hospitals Case Medical Center. (2014, September 2). Can data motivate hospital leaders to improve care transitions?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902114045.htm
University Hospitals Case Medical Center. "Can data motivate hospital leaders to improve care transitions?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902114045.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins