Information Sharing Practices

Angie Szumlinski Studies, Training

Patient transitions from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) require robust information sharing. After a decade of investment in health information technology infrastructure and new incentives to promote hospital-SNF coordination in the U.S., the current state of information sharing is unknown. A recent study was conducted to determine the quality of communication and sharing between the two settings.

U.S. SNFs reported significant shortcomings in the completeness, timeliness and usability of information provided by hospitals to supp-ort patient transitions. These shortcomings are likely associated with a suboptimal transition experience. Shared clinicians represent a potential strategy to improve information sharing but are costly. New payment models such as accountable care organizations may offer a more scalable approach but were only associated with more timely sharing.

We have all struggled to obtain vitally important information from the acute care setting and understand the risk associated with the transition from acute care to the SNF. It is refreshing that a study was initiated to acknowledge the problem exists and to discuss why it exists and how we can possibly improve the sharing of information! Remember, you don’t get what you don’t ask for, don’t be shy, your resident’s health and welfare could be at risk! Stay the course, stay well, mask up and stay tuned!