Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 20(1) April 2017 : 45-49.doi:10.12927/hcq.2017.25135
Special Focus on Quality Improvement

Optimizing Transitions of Care – Hospital to Community

Emily Sheridan, Christine Thompson, Tania Pinheiro, Nicole Robinson, Karen Davies and Nancy Whitmore


Discharging patients from the hospital is a complex process, and preventing avoidable readmissions has the potential to improve both the quality of life for patients and the financial sustainability of the healthcare system (Alper et al. 2016). Improving the discharge process is one method to mitigate readmission to the hospital. Historically, St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STEGH) consistently experienced higher-than-expected readmission rates, and only 41% of discharge summaries were sent from the hospital to the community primary care within 48 hours. In addition, the overall percentage of patients attending a follow-up appointment with a primary care physician within seven days of discharge from hospital was lower than the provincial average. Through engagement with primary care providers (PCPs) and clinical associates (CAs) and with the use of standard work and monitoring organizational metrics, STEGH has achieved significant improvements.



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