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Study Shows Major Gaps in Hospital-Home Health Care Provider Communications in Colorado

A survey of Colorado home health care clinicians (HHCs) revealed that 60 percent said they had not received enough information to guide patient treatment while 52 percent said patients often had unrealistic expectations of the kind of care they would receive.

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

Christine D. Jones, MD, MS, assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and her colleagues surveyed nurses and staff at 56 HHC agencies throughout Colorado. Participants were sent a 48-question survey covering communication between hospitals and HHCs, patient safety, pending tests, medication schedules, clinician contact and other areas.

More than half said hospitals did not adequately prepare patients for home health care upon discharge. They also said patients often expected a level of home care that was simply not available including extended hours, housekeeping and help with transportation.

Home health care workers with access to electronic health records (EHRs) for referring providers had fewer problems relating to a lack of information about patients, including critical medication data.

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