Evidence Summary and Recommendations for Improved Communication during Care Transitions

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Abstract

Background:

Communication between levels of care can be complex for any patient. For the Servicemember or Veteran with complex medical issues, who needs transitioning between multiple levels of care, this communication involves detailed, individualized information pivotal to quality clinical outcomes and patient/family satisfaction. These complex cases also typically include communication between multiple family members.

Purpose:

The purpose was to summarize the evidence and present recommendations for facilitating effective transitions of patient care within the complex Veterans Affairs (VA) Polytrauma System of Care.

Design:

Evidence Based Review.

Methods:

Selected members of the VA Office of Nursing Service Polytrauma Field Advisory Committee conducted an evidence-based review, and queried a clinical panel of polytrauma nursing experts and direct care rehabilitation nurses.

Findings:

Search results, key practice recommendations, a plan of care template, and future plans for dissemination and implementation are presented.

Conclusions:

Communication is a key to success when managing many details and requires both focus and knowledge of larger systems.

Clinical Relevance:

Direct communication, using a standardized approach, is recommended for successful patient transitions.

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