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Hosp Pract (1995). 2011 Aug;39(3):128-39. doi: 10.3810/hp.2011.08.588.

Care transitions from inpatient to outpatient settings: ongoing challenges and emerging best practices.

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Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.


Care transitions occur every time a patient changes levels of service, location, or with each shift change or transfer of care. The complexities involved in transitions of care make these time periods particularly susceptible to medical errors, placing patients at risk. Improving care transitions affects all patients in all settings, and has the potential to reduce adverse events, improve quality of care, and produce medical cost savings. This article is a focused review of transitions in care from the inpatient to ambulatory care settings. Underlying challenges and sources of errors are identified, and possible solutions and interventions are explored. Specific challenges to the pediatric population are also examined in detail.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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