Transitions of elders between long-term care and hospitals
Elderly long-term care recipients who require acute hospitalizations must navigate a fragmented system with poor “handoffs,” often resulting in negative outcomes. This article makes the case that reducing preventable hospitalizations and improving transitions to and from hospitals will enhance health care quality and outcomes among these elders. Immediate action targeting diffusion of evidence-based care is recommended to decrease avoidable rehospitalizations and achieve cost savings. Policy changes are needed to address barriers to high-quality transitional care, including deficits in health professionals’ and caregivers’ knowledge and resources, regulatory obstacles, and inadequate financial incentives and clinical information systems.