Family Physician and Hospitalist, Regina
Project: Improving Communication in Transitions of Care To Minimize Medication Errors and Diversion
Transitioning patients from the community into the hospital and back home is a dynamic and multifaceted process where healthcare systems, hospitals, providers, patients, and their families share responsibility. Patient transitions from one setting to another is a particularly vulnerable time when safety lapses can result in negative clinical outcomes and adverse events. Seven key elements are essential for safe and seamless transitions including medication management, transition planning, patient/family engagement and education, communicating and transferring information, follow-up care, healthcare provider engagement and shared accountability across providers and organizations. Currently, outpatient pharmacies are not routinely notified when patients are admitted to hospital. By developing and implementing an outpatient pharmacy notification tool on admission to accountable care hospital wards, we endeavor to incorporate several of the key elements and explore whether this resulted in fewer medication errors and minimization of inappropriate dispensing in community through earlier targeted communication with the outpatient team.