The Joint Commission (TJC) had determined there is an ineffective transitions of care. According to TJC website, transitions of care are defined as “the movement of patients between health care practitioners, settings, and home as their condition and care needs change.” The ineffective transitions between these health care settings can cause adverse events as well as drive up hospital readmission rates and costs. One study indicated that 80% of serious medical errors involve miscommunication when a patient is transitioning. The federal government has taken interest in this issue and will impose financial penalties for hospitals with unacceptably high readmission rates for Medicare and Medicaid patients.
TJC believes the root causes of ineffective transitions of care include:
- Communications breakdown
- Patient education breakdown
- Accountability breakdowns
The following elements are currently being researched by TJC to improve transitions of care:
- Multidisciplinary communication, collaboration, and coordination
- Clinician involvement and shared accountability during all points of transition
- Comprehensive planning and risk assessment throughout hospital stay
- Standardized transition plans, procedures, and forms
- Standardized training
- Timely follow-up, support and coordination after the patient leaves a care setting
- If a patient is readmitted within 30 days, gain an understanding of why.
- Evaluation of transitions care measures
This article is the first of many to be released in the Transitions Portal. For the full article please go to the Joint Commission Website.
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