Dr. Coleman’s expertise is in the area known in the medical community as “transitional care,” a set of actions designed to ensure the coordination and continuity of health care as patients transfer between different locations or levels of care within one location. He discussed how agencies can change systems and practices to ease care transitions.
According to Dr. Coleman, agencies should:
• Use a transitions coach to enhance the role of patients and caregivers in improving the quality of their care transitions across different levels of health care settings.
• Measure quality of care transitions from the perspective of patients and caregivers
• Implement system-level quality improvement interventions or programs
• Use health information technology to promote safe and effective care transitions
“As the number of older adults continues to increase in our community, so does our interest in making sure that South Florida health care providers are prepared to meet their needs in the most effective ways,” Harve Mogul, president and CEO, United Way, said.
As a call to action, Coleman informed guests that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is providing grants to community organizations to furnish evidence-based care transition services. Agencies are encouraged to partner with other community-based and private healthcare organizations to apply for a grant. More information about the grants can be found at http://www.cms.gov/DemoProjectsEvalRpts/MD/itemdetail.asp?itemID=CMS1239313.