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Health Care Coalition Continues to Expand and Focus on Improving Transitions of Care

Posted on 9/18/2008 by NTOCC ® in Press Releases

Washington, DC – The National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC) today recognized the tremendous strides coalition members have made in helping healthcare professionals and organizations address problems inherent in transitioning patients from one level of care to another. In addition, the coalition identified critical work it needs to undertake to help healthcare organizations implement improved transitional processes and develop standards for best practices.

In a meeting of the NTOCC Advisory Task Force, Cheri Lattimer, NTOCC Project Director and Executive Director of the Case Management Society of America (CMSA), noted that the task force has grown from 13 to 29 industry stakeholders in a little under two years. Lattimer also noted that 84 other organizations have joined NTOCC as Associate Members since the launch of the program in April 2008 and another 1,306 individuals have subscribed to stay abreast of the important work being performed by NTOCC.

The Advisory Task Force reviewed tools and resources NTOCC recently released on www.ntocc.org to help improve transitions of care. A new tool was also approved at the meeting: “Taking Care of My Health Care” provides a list of critical questions that patients and their caregivers should ask clinical personnel to assist in ensuring safe and effective transitions of care. “The questions included in ‘Taking Care of My Health Care’ help connect the patient, their families and the healthcare professionals who care for them,” Mitchell Dvorak, Executive Director of Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS) and NTOCC Advisory Task Force member explained. “Patients are the only constant in a transition and while previous NTOCC tools help professionals improve their transitions, this tool truly empowers patients and their caregivers to help with that transition by being a knowledgeable resource in their own care.” NTOCC identified a new working group focusing on how health information technology can best use NTOCC tools to improve transitions of care. This new group will look at the elements that software developers can use to embed NTOCC recommendations and data elements into their products providing better integration between practice settings when transitioning patients. The Health Information Work Group joins the four other NTOCC working bodies: Education & Awareness, Tools & Resources, Policy & Advocacy and Performance & Metrics.

Transitions of care include situations in which a patient moves from primary care to specialty physicians or moves within the hospital including moves from the emergency department to other various departments, such as surgery or intensive care; or when a patient is discharged from the hospital and goes home or to an assisted living or skilled nursing facility. Patients, especially older persons, face significant challenges when moving from one level of care or practice setting to another in the healthcare system. During these transitions, lack of communication can result in redundant or conflicting information that often creates serious issues for patients, their caregivers and their families.

The NTOCC Advisory Board has guided the work of the coalition since 2006 and includes the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP), American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA), American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), American Geriatrics Society (AGS), American Medical Directors Association (AMDA), American Medical Group Association (AMGA), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), American Society on Aging (ASA), American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), AXA Assistance USA Inc., Case Management Society of America (CMSA), Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS), Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG), Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Joint Commission International Center for Patient Safety (ICPS) ,Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care, Mid-America Coalition on Health Care (MACHC), National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration - Long Term Care (NADONA / LTC), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH), National Case Management Network of Canada (NCMN), National Quality Forum (NQF), Predictive Health, LLC, sanofi-aventis, U.S., LLC, Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM), The Joint Commission Disease - Specific Care Certification, United Health Group (UHG) and URAC.

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About the National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC)
NTOCC was formed in 2006 to address a serious U.S. health care issue: problematic situations which can occur when patients leave one care setting and move to another care setting. The U.S. healthcare system often fails to meet the needs of elderly patient populations during these transitions because care is rushed and responsibility is fragmented with little communication across care settings and multiple providers. These failures lead to undue burdens on patients and their families and negatively impact patient safety, quality of care and outcomes. The focus of NTOCC is to bring together thought leaders and health care experts from various settings to address this critical issue, define solutions and develop tools to address the gaps impacting patient care. Tools and resources developed by NTOCC will be made available to everyone in the health care industry including providers, payers, patients and consumers. NTOCC is chaired and coordinated by the Case Management Society of America in partnership with sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC. For more information visit www.ntocc.org.

About Case Management Society of America (CMSA)
Established in 1990, the Case Management Society of America is an international non-profit 501(c) (6) multi-disciplinary professional association dedicated to the support and advancement of the case management profession through educational forums, networking opportunities, legislative advocacy, and establishing standards to advance the profession. It is based in Little Rock, AR, and serves more than 20,000 members/subscribers and 70 affiliate and pending chapters. Since its inception, CMSA has been at the forefront of setting professional standards for the industry, which allows for the highest level of efficiency and integrity, as well as developing national and local leaders who are recognized for their practice and professional excellence. For more information on CMSA, call CMSA at (501) 225-2229 or go to www.cmsa.org.

About sanofi-aventis
Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY). Visit www.sanofi-aventis.us or www.sanofiaventis.com.