These recent journal articles, selected by our lead researchers, highlight important issues related to care coordination, patient safety, and access.
In this May Health Affairs article, authors explore the comprehensive care physician model, which is an effort to improve care coordination between the inpatient and outpatient setting. In this model, physicians focus specifically on patients at increased hospitalization risk and provide them with both inpatient and outpatient care.
Reducing Avoidable Hospital Readmissions Effectively: A Statewide Campaign (subscription required)
Hospitals and care providers throughout Minnesota, including hospitals, professional organizations, nursing homes, and patient advocacy groups, joined the Reducing Avoidable Readmissions Effectively (RARE) campaign to prevent hospital readmissions within 30 days of hospital discharge. Since 2011, peer-to-peer networking and collaboration between organizations has improved discharge planning and management of care transitions and medications, engaged patients and their families, and lowered readmission rates. This May Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety article shares the program’s successes.
Staff teams at the San Francisco VA Medical Center implemented a handoff tool to standardize the transfer of clinically relevant information to outpatient providers after patients have been discharged from the hospital. This May Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety article shares the results of a retrospective chart review of the tool.
Patient Safety First…a California Partnership for Health (subscription required)
The Institute of Medicine reported that as many as 98,000 patients in U.S. hospitals die each year from avoidable medical errors. To address this problem, Anthem Blue Cross and three regional hospital associations joined forces to address patient safety. This article from the May edition of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety explores the impact of the first phase of the program, including decreased rates of patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia, central line-associated bloodstream infection, and catheter-associated urinary tract infections.
Hospital incidents of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection have increased dramatically over the last 10 years. This May Journal for Healthcare Quality article explores the multifaceted, collaborative approach 35 acute care hospitals in New York used to reduce hospital-onset rates of C. difficile.
The Axes of Access – Improving Care for Patients with Disabilities (subscription required)
A growing body of evidence suggests that people with disabilities face barriers in their access to health care. This article from the May issue of The New England Journal of Medicine explores those barriers and offers recommendations for improvement.
Research suggests that patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) are more likely than English-speaking patients to experience safety events caused by communication problems and more likely to be more harmed in an adverse event. This May Journal for Healthcare Quality article describes new tools commissioned by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to improve safety for LEP patients.