Letter from the Editor

Improving transitions of care is one of the top goals facing hospitals and hospitalists today. Happily, it's one that doesn't require a lot of technology to achieve.


Improving transitions of care is one of the top goals facing hospitals hospitalists today. Happily, it's one that doesn't require a lot of technology to achieve. A simple phone call to a recently discharged patient can go a long way towards clarifying issues like medication use or the need for outpatient follow-up, while helping lower readmission rates boost patient satisfaction. In our cover story, Associate Editor Stacey Butterfield looks at the different strategies hospitalist programs have used to make post-discharge phone calls a routine practice in their facilities.

Another way to lower readmission rates is to have regular meetings among hospital staff to discuss the status of various patients. The combined input of physicians, nurses and other care team members can change the course of care—including the date of discharge—and ultimately lead to better outcomes. Daily meetings, which can be as short as 15 minutes, can also improve relationships among health team members, thus contributing to greater job satisfaction. Learn how team meetings can work at your hospital.

Hand hygiene is a perpetual thorn in the side of most hospitals, with compliance rates hovering around 40%. The Greater Baltimore Medical Center found a way to significantly boost the practice with a multi-level plan of attack, including the employment of hand hygiene auditors, public reporting of unit compliance rates and mass installation of sanitizer dispensers. Our Success Story gives details on this remarkable achievement, which resulted in 90% compliance for some units in the hospital.

Has your hospital implemented a change that improved patient outcomes or staff satisfaction? Tell us about it.

Sincerely,
Jessica Berthold
Editor, ACP Hospitalist