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Study: Poor Communication from Hospitals to Home Health Puts Patients at Risk

Posted on Friday, March 8, 2019 5:56 PM

A new study from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus reports that there are serious communication issues between hospitals and home health clinicians. This poor communication is putting patients at risk.

The study surveyed 50 home health care nurses, quality assurance clinicians, administrators and managers.   Results showed that 60 percent of those surveyed reported receiving inadequate information to guide home health treatment and 44 percent dealt with problems related to insufficient information about patients. Fifty-two percent of respondents said patients went home believing that transportation, housekeeping and caregiving was automatically included in their home health care. The most common communication issue was the recommendation for additional medical tests by clinicians in the hospital.

“We have heard of medication errors occurring between hospitals and home health care providers,” the study’s lead author Christine Jones, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado, said in a statement. “As a result, patients can receive the wrong medication or the wrong dose. Some home health providers don’t get accurate information about how long to leave a urinary catheter or intravenous line in.”

“For hospitals and HHC agencies seeking strategies to improve communication, this study can provide targets for improvement,” said Ms. Jones. “Future interventions to improve communication between the hospital and HHC should aim to improve preparation of patients and caregivers to ensure they know what to expect from HHC and to provide access to EHR information for HHC agencies.”

Source: NAHC Report

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