As we look more and more at the need to assure the health of populations rather than just an individual patient encounter, seamless transitions of care become more and more important when it comes to reducing return visits to the emergency department or readmissions into the hospital. But how can we better assess the quality of a transition from one care setting to another? Parast et al. (10.1542/peds.2016-4178) introduce 8 newly developed caregiver-reported measures of transition quality in an interesting study to validate these eight measures. The authors share with us the results of their prospective observational study of more than a thousand caregivers who responded to a survey of children in Seattle who had an ED visit or hospitalization at one children’s hospital in 2014. Each of the new measures identified by the authors was validated against known measures of patient satisfaction previously validated using the Child Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) nurse-parent and doctor-parent communication satisfaction measures.
The good news is that these 8 new measures validated nicely with previously validated measures and can in turn be used prospectively to study the quality of an ED and hospital to home transition. To find out what these 8 new measures are, and to consider introducing them into your own practice, take some quality time and check out this high quality study that will enable us to now measure going forward improvements in the quality of ED and hospital to home transitions.