Clinical concerns

Lack of physician communication main issue for patient transitions

According to a recent study in the Journal of Nursing Care Quality, poor communication between physicians is the main issue for patient transitions between hospitals and nursing homes.

Researchers with the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing created a survey to measure the difficulties with care transitions. They received responses from care teams at 178 nursing homes in Missouri. The teams included a variety of workers, including nurses, physicians, Minimum Data Set coordinators and administrators.

The most common problem identified was an overall lack of communication between hospital physician and accepting physician. The respondents also reported issues with written communications from hospital physicians, particularly with medication orders. Many said that unclear orders are a big problem and trying to decipher orders is challenging and time-consuming. About 33% of these respondents said they spend 1-2 hours making calls to clarify orders, while over 13% spend 2-3 hours. About half of the survey respondents said having a single hospital contact with thorough knowledge of the incoming resident would improve communications.

To read the full report, click here.