There’s a seven hour event tomorrow (8-3, ET) that will be live, webcast, tweeted and discussed on Google+. It’s about information transfer during transitions of care. It’s important. Here’s why.
Anyone with half a brain knows that the right information makes it easier to do the job right. Unfortunately, to a large extent health providers haven’t done anything about getting information into other people’s hands. And harm can result.
Case in point: on July 14 my mom had a total hip replacement in Maryland. My two super-sisters were all over the case, and everything went well. But her discharge to rehab failed. Why? Because those two facilities don’t have HIE: Health Information Exchange. So the rehab place had to transcribe Mom’s information. Manually. As in, retype everything.
As in, typos.
As in, hyperthyroid got mixed up with hypothyroid.
And if super-sister Amy hadn’t been checking everything, that could have done her real harm. She could have become another statistic, a medical error, filed under These Things Happen.
This is Care Transition – when you (or your mother, or child, or…) is passed from one provider to another. The best intentioned clinician can’t possibly perform to the best of their ability if they’re not given the information.
So care transitions are part of what America’s government is working on, as part of the push to adopt health IT. Tomorrow’s event should provide comprehensive information about many aspects of the issue. I can’t be there – I’m speaking at a conference in Buffalo – but you can! And I’ll follow up with the archives later.
Care transitions are important. Without reliable information transition, the care transition can become dangerous. Good IT can help.