FRIDAY, July 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Cross-continuum communication after hospital discharge can improve patient outcomes and overall health, according to an article published in Physicians Practice.

Physicians can take certain steps to guarantee better communication and collaboration after a patient’s acute care stay. These activities can allow providers to remain in contact with patients after discharge, sustaining positive outcomes and potentially preventing readmission or other complications.

Hospitals should have access to strong post-acute networks, easily communicating details about the patient with the network and allowing patients to learn about the post-acute-care options available. Hospitals should also have strong processes for communicating with post-acute-care providers, thereby preventing care lapses and ensuring better continuity. Hospitals should use care coordination solutions, taking advantage of solutions such as apps that allow coordination with the patient and care team after discharge. These tools can also be used to foster patients’ commitment to long-term recovery, engaging patients in the recovery process by sending educational materials and answering questions from caregivers. Emerging payment models require hospitals and physician practices to work more closely together; the more amenable physicians and practices are to working with nearby hospitals, the better their patients’ outcomes and overall health will be.

“By participating in efforts to streamline communication, promote collaboration and act as partners in care delivery, physician practices can set the stage for care that is truly patient-centered,” according to the article.

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