• Study
  • Published November 2008

Information exchange among physicians caring for the same patient in the community.

  • Classic

Significant attention to gaps in the continuity of care has led to past research focused on hospital transitions and medication management systems in the ambulatory setting. This study tracked information exchange between outpatient providers caring for the same patient following hospital discharge. Remarkably, they discovered that information from the previous visit was available at a subsequent visit only 22% of the time. Factors associated with information being available included care by a family physician and whether that physician was treating the patient prior to hospitalization. The findings raise ongoing concerns about poor communication and highlight the need for systems to foster more effective clinical information exchange between providers. A past AHRQ WebM&M perspective discussed care transitions associated with hospital discharge.

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