Next Step in Care provides easy-to-use guides to help family caregivers and health care providers work closely together to plan and implement safe and smooth transitions for chronically or seriously ill patients.
Transitions are moves between care settings, for example, hospital to home or rehab facility, or the start or end of home care agency services. Because transitions are often rushed, miscommunication and errors can occur.
Next Step in Care materials emphasize careful planning, clear communication, and ongoing care coordination.
View Next Step in Care on your smart phone or other mobile device. See the easy instructional video here.
As a guest on NBC's "Today" show, Carol Levine, director of the Families and Health Care Project, highlighted the critical role family plays in long-term care, as well as the importance of planning and communicating with family members and professionals. (This link takes you to the "Today" show website.)
As health care looks to improve outcomes for patients, good care coordination is often seen as key, leading to a rise in professional care coordination. On the other hand, family caregivers still have the primary responsibility for coordinating care, beyond the scope of most professionals. The guides give tips on how family caregivers and professional care coordinators can partner effectively. The guides are "A Family Caregiver's Guide to Care Coordination" and "A Professional Care Coordinator's Guide to Partnering with Family Caregivers."
Developed by United Hospital Fund in collaboration with the Project RED research group at Boston University Medical Center, a new tool offers guidance for hospitals on how to work effectively with family caregivers to make safer discharges from hospitals. Although designed for hospital discharges, “Understanding and Integrating Family Caregivers into the Re-Engineered Discharge” can be used in any setting and formalizes attention to family caregivers.
If you are caring for a family member, click here for information that can help with patient transitions.