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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Improving patient handovers from hospital to primary care: a systematic review.

Hesselink G, Schoonhoven L, Barach P, et al. Annals of internal medicine. 2012;157:417-28.

Care transitions remain a particularly vulnerable time for patient safety, leading to an increasing emphasis on effective handoff communication. Adverse events following hospital discharge are common, affecting nearly 20% of patients. This review summarizes interventions aimed at improving patient discharge from hospital to primary care; a number of effective strategies and measured outcomes are compiled. The efforts described are primarily focused on smoothing the coordination of care and communication between hospital and primary care providers and pharmacists. An AHRQ WebM&M conversation with Dr. Vineet Arora explores extra-hospital and intra-hospital handoffs.