Definition of Care Transitions or Transitions in Care
A recent position statement from the American Geriatrics Society defines transitional care as follows:
For the purpose of this position statement, transitional care is defined as a set of actions designed to ensure the coordination and continuity of health care as patients transfer between different locations or different levels of care within the same location. Representative locations include (but are not limited to) hospitals, sub-acute and post-acute nursing facilities, the patient's home, primary and specialty care offices, and long-term care facilities. Transitional care is based on a comprehensive plan of care and the availability of health care practitioners who are well-trained in chronic care and have current information about the patient's goals, preferences, and clinical status. It includes logistical arrangements, education of the patient and family, and coordination among the health professionals involved in the transition. Transitional care, which encompasses both the sending and the receiving aspects of the transfer, is essential for persons with complex care needs.
Source: Coleman EA, Boult CE on behalf of the American Geriatrics Society Health Care Systems Committee. Improving the Quality of Transitional Care for Persons with Complex Care Needs. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2003;51(4):556-557.
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