Communication and coordination processes supporting integrated transitional care: Australian healthcare practitioners’ perspectives

Jacqueline Allen, Alison M. Hutchinson, Rhonda Brown, Patricia M. Livingston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Although a large body of research has identified effective models of transitional care, questions remain about the optimal translation of this knowledge into practice. In Australia, the introduction of a model of consumer-directed care uniquely challenges the practice of integrated care transitions for older adults. This study aimed to identify strengths and weaknesses in transitional care for older adults in an Australian setting by describing healthcare practitioners’ experiences of care provision. Methods: The study used a qualitative design in two phases: 1) semi-structured interviews, 2) one focus group. The setting comprised one public health network and five community services in urban Australia. In Phase 1, health practitioners across settings were interviewed about their experience of transitional care. Phase 2 sought feedback about the Phase 1 findings from different practitioners. All data were thematically analysed. Findings: In Phase 1), 48 healthcare practitioners were interviewed across multiple settings. Few participants were aware of the introduction of consumer-directed care in community aged care. Four main themes were identified: ‘Rapid and safe care transition’, ‘Discussing as a team’, ‘Questioning the discharge’, and ‘Engaging patients and carers’. In Phase 2), seven participants from different settings reviewed and endorsed the findings from Phase 1. Discussion and conclusions: Findings indicate that healthcare practitioners use a range of communication and coordination processes in optimising integrated transitional care. Although participants involved their patients in transitional care planning, most participants were unaware of the recent implementation of consumer-directed care. In contexts of community-based care shaped by multidisciplinary, sub-acute and CDC models, care integration must focus on improved communication with patients and carers to ascertain their needs and to support their increased responsibility in their care transitions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Integrated Care
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Care coordination
  • Communication
  • Integrated care
  • Transitional care

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