Hospice patients experience multiple care transitions at end of life

Study warns the frequent moves are disruptive and can lead to medical errors
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A new study by the Yale School of Public Health reveals that many hospice patients are frequently moved from one facility to another. Researchers say the multiple transitions disrupts their routines and places them at heightened risk for medical errors. Slightly more than 10 percent of patients experienced at least one transition after enrolling in hospice, according to the study. But researchers said that in some states the proportion of at least one healthcare transition exceeded 20 percent. "This matters because such transitions may place hospice users at risk of discontinuity of care and medical errors, while also increasing the level of stress for their caregivers and family members," said lead author Shiyi Wang, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology and a faculty member in the Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy, and Effectiveness Research Center at Yale School of Medicine, in the study announcement. The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Study announcement