Prior studies have documented the safety problems that befall patients with complex illnesses at the time of transition from one setting of care to another. In this trial conducted in an integrated delivery system, patients were randomized to receive usual care or the care transitions intervention at the time of hospital discharge. Intervention patients received a personal health record and a "transition coach," who assisted with continuity of care across settings, arranged home visits after discharge, and helped train patients and caregivers in self-care methods. The foci of the intervention were on ensuring accurate medication usage and appropriate follow-up care. The intervention successfully reduced the likelihood of hospital readmission for 3 months after discharge and appeared to be cost effective.