A Community-Shared Clinical Abstract to Improve Care (Minnesota)

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Summary:

The lack of timely transfer of essential clinical information is a major barrier to effective care transitions and can lead to redundant work, conflicted recommendations, errors, and patient confusion and distress. In this project, three partnering health care systems set out to develop an implementation plan for exchanging an electronic health record (EHR) abstract at the time a patient in transition presents. The partners' safety officers initiated discussions to promote the sharing of clinical data to enhance patient safety. The organizations had collaborated on many quality improvement initiatives and had independently elected the same EHR vendor. In collaboration with their medical and information technology leaders, they committed to plan the use of health information technology (health IT) to improve information transfer during care transitions. A key early objective was selecting a clinical focus with a high priority for each system. The planning work for this project was completed by a Steering Committee and a Planning Team of clinical, technical, and operations specialists. Planning phases included Scope and aims, High-level design, Detailed design, and Plan integration. The results of the project were the following: 1) A high priority focus was selected (i.e., heart failure); 2) Barriers to success were determined; 3) Planning process assessments were made; and 4) Evaluation measures were compiled. In addition, a comprehensive implementation proposal that eventually led to a grant award was completed in 6.5 months and a detailed plan finalized in 11 months. Because the time for proposal preparation was unexpectedly halved, some planning steps were modified or eliminated

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