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Decreasing Communication Gaps with Primary Care Providers After a Child's Traumatic Injuries
Erin Butt, MSN, PPCNP-BC, Becky Cook, DNP, APRN, Kaaren Shebesta, MSN, APRN1, Suzanne Moody, MPA, CCRP, Mary Ellen Watts, RN, Margot Daugherty, MSN, MEd, RN, Rebeccah Brown, MD, Richard A. Falcone Jr., MD,MPH. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA.

Background: Communication at the time of discharge between the trauma team and Primary Care Provider (PCP) is essential. Good communication decreases readmission rates, ensures appropriate discharge care, and improves the relationship with the PCP. Our standard process has been transmission of discharge summaries to the PCP at the time of discharge. Only a third of surveyed PCPs felt this provided timely/useful content. Our goal was to improve communication between the trauma inpatient team and community PCPs within two years.

Methods: A quality improvement initiative was started in April 2014 with a goal of increasing direct communication between trauma staff and PCPs from 0% to 60% by April 2016. A new process for direct communication with PCPs was implemented. PCPs were called and given verbal report based off the discharge summary template by Trauma Staff. Modifications to the initial process were implemented; call prior to discharge, speaking with providers directly, and trialing an automatic paging system.

Results: Of the first 38 calls, 97.3% of PCPs reported the call as being very helpful. Over the two years of this project, 69% of PCPs were successfully contacted. Reasons for call failures were no/incorrect PCP, no return call, and weekend discharge. Continued process revisions such as weekend discharge follow ups, increased resident education, and verifying correct PCP, have increased successful calls to 79%.

Conclusions: We have significantly increased direct, personal, and timely communication between hospital providers and PCPs after a patient's traumatic injury. Consistent communication will improve outcomes but further study is needed.


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