Document Detail

Review: Interventions for patient transition from hospital to primary care may improve outcomes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23318334     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
QUESTION What is the efficacy of interventions to improve patient transition from hospital discharge to primary care? REVIEW SCOPE Included studies involved patients ≥ 18 years of age and care providers during the transition of care from hospital to primary care or home care; assessed interventions with ≥ 1 component aimed at improving patient handover from hospital to primary care providers (before, during, or after physical transition of patients) within country borders; and reported ≥ 1 quality or safety process measure or outcome of the handovers within 3 months of discharge. Exclusion criteria were psychiatric diagnosis, pregnancy, reporting only health care service expenditures and costs, or quality score ≤ 3 out of 10 (modified Cochrane criteria). Outcomes included patient status; errors, near-misses, or adverse events; hospital use; and continuity of care (see Table footnote for definitions). REVIEW METHODS PubMed, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library (all to Mar 2011), and reference lists were searched for English-language, randomized, controlled trials (RCTs). 36 RCTs met selection criteria (n = 14 175): 34 assessed multicomponent interventions, and 26 included aspects of case management. Interventions were categorized according to the components of the intervention that aimed to improve patient handovers: 1) quality of information exchanged (completeness, accuracy, and clarity); 2) coordination of care (assessment, planning, and organization of follow-up services and needs); and 3) communication (personal and direct contact, accessibility, and timeliness of information exchange). Mean quality score was 6.8 out of 10. 18 RCTs involved elderly patients. MAIN RESULTS Meta-analysis was not done because of heterogeneity of study designs, participants, and outcomes. 25 RCTs reported significant effects favoring the intervention in ≥ 1 outcome. Results by components of the intervention that aimed to improve patient handovers are in the Table. CONCLUSION Several interventions to improve the transition of patient care from hospital to primary care may have positive effects on various processes or patient outcomes.Interventions to improve patient transition from hospital to primary careOutcomesNumber of trialsNumber of trials showing significant positive effects*Information sharingCoordination of careCommunicationPatient status†196 of 1311 of 179 of 17Errors, near-misses, or adverse events‡82 of 71 of 32 of 6Hospital use§207 of 129 of 179 of 18*Out of the number of trials assessing the outcome. Interventions could include ≥ 1 component.†Quality of life, satisfaction, perception of discharge preparedness, self-perceived medication understanding, medication adherence, functional ability, or death.‡Mismatch in drug name, dose, or frequency prescribed in discharge letter and by primary care provider; medication discrepancies between hospital and community pharmacy records; preventable adverse events; medication prescription error; any medication discrepancy.§Postdischarge or unplanned rehospitalizations, hospitalizations, emergency department visits; length of hospital stay.
Joel M Schectman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annals of internal medicine     Volume:  158     ISSN:  1539-3704     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann. Intern. Med.     Publication Date:  2013 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-01-15     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372351     Medline TA:  Ann Intern Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  JC12     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
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