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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Improving communication with primary care physicians at the time of hospital discharge.

Destino LA, Dixit A, Pantaleoni JL, et al. Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety. 2017;43:80-88.

Adverse events after hospital discharge are common. Prior research demonstrates that communication and information transfer between inpatient providers and primary care physicians (PCPs) may be lacking, raising patient safety concerns. This study described how applying Lean methodology, enhancing frontline provider engagement, and redesigning workflow processes within the electronic health record led to improved communication with PCPs around the time of hospital discharge. Through these interventions, the pediatric medical service was able to increase verbal communication with PCPs at discharge to 80%, and they sustained this for a 7-month period. Discharge communication with PCPs across other services improved as well. A previous PSNet perspective discussed the challenges associated with care transitions and suggested opportunities for improvement.