Health Care Topic: Care Transitions

Mar 29, 2012

According to the Institute of Medicine’s Preventing Medication Errors report, the average hospitalized patient encounters at least one medication error per day. One in five errors harms the patient. More than 40 percent of medication errors arise during care transitions (admissions, transfers, and discharges from one setting to another) when various possible medication lists are not brought together in a process called reconciliation.

Mar 1, 2012

A few days into my 68-year old father’s hospitalization for sepsis, his doctors determined the strain of bacteria that plagued him: streptococcus. My sister was there when they came in with this part of the diagnosis; she has a doctorate in engineering with a focus on the human heart (that engineering marvel), and she likes details.

“What strain?” she asked the doctor. “A, B, or C?”

His reply: “What does it matter to you?”

Jan 31, 2012

“Care transitions” is the new buzzword in efforts to improve health, improve care and reduce costs. It seems that everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, implementing evidence-based solutions to problems in transitions, launching new programs and applying for funds totaling half a billion dollars from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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