teamwork at a table

As a patient or family caregiver, there are several steps you can take to help you be a more informed and effective member of the care team during the transition back home after hospitalization. By knowing what to expect, you may be able to avoid healthcare complications and re-hospitalization.

The Care Transitions Program, directed by Dr. Eric Coleman, MD, MPH at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, hosts a website created especially for patients, families and caregivers to reference during care transitions from hospital to home. The site includes a discharge preparation checklist (written in plain language), as well as tips for managing care at home, how to recognize and respond to “red flags” that may lead to an unplanned readmission and how to manage medications.

The program also hosts care transitions tools for healthcare professionals: Family Caregiver Activation in Transitions® (FCAT®) Tool, the Care Transitions Measure® Tools and the DECAF™ Family Caregiver Tool.

Continual communication among the patient, their providers and their caregivers ensures individual medical needs, health status, and personal values are addressed, especially during care transitions. Promoting shared decision making methods, hospital discharge protocols and risk assessments would ensure patient safety and improve the overall patient experience. Join the Great Plains Quality Care Coalition to learn more, access resources and get connected. Join today.