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If coordination fails
Date:10/20/2011

outpatient physician. Laugaland emphasizes that several of the adverse events occurring within transitional care have been identified and reported in the literature as preventable, which she thinks is alarming.

- People aged 65 and older are especially at high risk for adverse events and medical errors during transitions between service providers. This population has typically complex health problems frequently requiring care in multiple settings. Older patients, many with reduced mental capacity are also most dependent on a health care system that is able to communicate appropriately and transfer information and duties properly. Frail older patient, particularly those with cognitive impairment are completely dependent on health professionals who can attend to their needs, Laugaland emphasizes.

Unclear responsibility

Laugaland believes that poor coordination between primary and secondary health and care services are caused by a lack of holistic thinking and unclear responsibility. Each service provider tends to focus on its own tasks and not on the system as a whole, which is paradoxical given that it is the system the patient actually experiences.

- Limited research displays and highlights the importance of transitions and interactions for safety in Norwegian healthcare. Existing research has primarily been concerned with adverse events and medical error occurring within the hospital. Relatively little data are available to estimate the extent and impact of adverse events occurring across organizational boundaries, Laugaland says.

The PhD student and the rest of the research group at UiS look forward to contribute to important answers concerning transitions of elderly between care settings.


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Contact: Kristin Laugaland
kristin.a.laugaland@uis.no
0047-518-31000
University of Stavanger
Source:Eurekalert

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