Health IT, communication must play role in care transitions

Use of communication and health IT is necessary to help avoid high costs and readmissions that can occur because of transitions of care, according to an Executive Insight article.

There's a gap that happens when patients move to a new provider or are released from the hospital, with patients and caregivers unsure of discharge instructions or how to communicate with clinicians for follow up, Sean Slovenski, CEO of Care Innovations in Roseville, California, says in the article.

However, health IT can help close that gap. One step is to align electronic physician order entry systems, says Maureen Dailey, senior policy advisor for quality health policy at the American Nurses Association.

"We need to make sure to engage patients and caregivers in education of medication so they understand what they should take, side effects and actions to take if something happens," she tells Executive Insight.

Care transitions must also be linked to a patient's electronic medical record, Dailey adds. In addition, she says that screening patients for anxiety and depression also is key; Slovenski says that monitoring patients with chronic diseases post-discharge must also be a priority.

Mobile tools have shown to be beneficial when it comes to care transitions by making patients feel more connected to their care and clinicians more connected to their patients.

To learn more:
- here's the article