Transitions of Care in an Era of Healthcare Transformation.
In the practice of modern emergency medicine (EM), transitions of care (TOC) have taken a prominent role, and during this time of healthcare reform, TOC has become a focal point of improvement initiatives across the continuum of care. This review includes a comprehensive examination of various regulatory, accreditation, and policy-based elements with which EM physicians interact in their daily practice. The content is organized into five domains: Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), The Joint Commission, Affordable Care Act, National Quality Forum (NQF), and accountable care organizations. This review is meant to be a synthesis of TOC material, tailored for EM physicians and the teams that make these departments run. We include (1) relevant current regulations and standards from various entities that are most likely to affect the day-to-day practice of EM; (2) examination of the consequences of these regulations and standards and how they can be used to shape EM practice and clinical decision making; and (3) comparison of interventions aimed at improving TOC, including evidence from current literature, practical examples, and proposals. Emergency departments must develop, implement, and monitor TOC programs and processes that can facilitate seamless and efficient care as patients transfer between settings. This report provides a framework for that effort and is designed to help EM physicians continue to take the lead in improving TOC to help shape the future of modern practice.
Kessler, C; Tsipis, NE; Seaberg, D; Walker, GN; Andolsek, K
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