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By standardizing verbal and written transitions processes, UW ensures accurate clinical information is exchanged.
Lack of standardized bidirectional verbal and written transition processes between post-acute care facilities and the emergency departments (ED) can cause delays in treatment, redundancy of testing and potentially poor quality of care. The lack of critical clinical information exchange can also be very time consuming and frustrating for the clinical staff resulting in inefficiency of care processes. Standardized verbal and written processes can ensure that the necessary clinical information is exchanged each and every time a patient transitions between settings.
Location- Madison, WI.
Type- Academic medical center.
Number of Beds- 648 beds.
Setting- Urban; however, patients are referred regionally as well.
Payer Mix- For the 2015 fiscal year (from July 2014 to June 2015), our payer mix was the following: 53 percent commercial/capitate programs, 34 percent Medicare, 10 percent Medicaid and 3 percent other government programs.
Population Served- Urban Madison, WI and patients from surrounding regions.
University Hospital is a regional referral center that is home to a Level One adult and pediatric trauma center, burn center, stroke center, organ transplant programs and the UW Carbone Cancer Center.
Our aim was to develop a protocol and tools to be used for transferring patients to and from post-acute care facilities that will improve communication. Using the FOCUS-PDCA process improvement methodology, we began by organizing a multidisciplinary team. The team was comprised of key stakeholders including skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, emergency medical services transport, emergency department, health information management, pharmacy and transitional care. The team collaborated to clarify the current processes to understand the root causes related to communication failures. The key root causes were narrowed down to 4 improvement opportunities with accompanying change ideas that were implemented.
Staff in both the ED and post-acute setting have vocalized a high satisfaction level with these processes and tools. Following the initial pilot group of 7 facilities, 61 percent of facilities were sending their patients with the completed transfer label and blue transfer envelope. Immediate scanning of the document by the ED coordinators has improved to 94 percent. In January 2016 the process was rolled out to 10 additional SNFs and ALFs with the goal for continued roll out to other facilities in the region.
Organization Name: University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics
Location: 600 Highland Ave, Madison, WI, United States
Organization Type: Hospital