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National Coalition Identifies Tools They Will Pilot to Determine Effectiveness in Improving Transitions of Care

Posted on 10/11/2007 by NTOCC ® in Press Releases

Little Rock, AR — The National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC) Advisory Board Task Force met recently at Uncasville, Conn. At an October 5th meeting, the NTOCC Advisory Board reviewed an initial set of tools and resources created by Coalition working groups that will help healthcare professionals, organizations, and patients address problems inherent in transitioning patients from one level of care to another. NTOCC plans to pilot these tools over the next few months with an eventual goal of making these tools available to all healthcare industry participants by early 2008. NTOCC is being led by the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) with support from sanofi-aventis US LLC.

Little Rock, AR — The National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC) Advisory Board Task Force met recently at Uncasville, Conn. At an October 5th meeting, the NTOCC Advisory Board reviewed an initial set of tools and resources created by Coalition working groups that will help healthcare professionals, organizations, and patients address problems inherent in transitioning patients from one level of care to another. NTOCC plans to pilot these tools over the next few months with an eventual goal of making these tools available to all healthcare industry participants by early 2008. NTOCC is being led by the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) with support from sanofi-aventis US LLC.

Established in 2006, NTOCC brings together 27 multidisciplinary stakeholders from across the healthcare spectrum to address improving the quality of care coordination and communication when patients are transitioned between practice settings and levels of care.

The new tools under development will address several areas which can provide immediate benefit to healthcare providers, payers, and patients:

  • Personal Patient "My Medicine List" Essential Data Elements: This is a list of medications to be carried at all times by every patient. The data elements indicate the prescriptions that patients have been prescribed and are currently taking along with information about their over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements. The goal of the personal medicine list is to help patients improve their understanding of their current medicine regimens and assist healthcare providers in ensuring safe transference of medication information.
     
  • Required Medication Reconciliation Essential Data Elements: These elements were proposed to help healthcare professionals collect, transmit, and receive critical medication information needed when patients move from one practice setting or level of care to another. The use of these standardized data elements in the reconciliation process required by the Joint Commission through their national patient safety goals could help reduce medication errors.
     
  • Transitions of Care Check List: This list outlines a detailed process of effective patient transfer between practice settings and levels of care. Healthcare providers who follow this process can help to ensure that patients and their critical medical information are transferred safely, timely, and efficiently.
     
  • Transitions of Care Awareness Slide Deck: These slides can be used to educate the general public, industry stakeholders, the media, and policy makers about the issues associated with transitions of care: the impact bad transitions have on patient safety, care delivery, and healthcare costs. They also discuss steps that can be taken to improve transitions.
     
  • NTOCC Policy Paper: The Task Force also reviewed a draft policy statement discussing the problems stemming from transitions of care and outlining recommendations that can be taken by the healthcare industry and policy makers to improve transitions and patient care across the continuum.

"The development of these critically needed tools represents an important step in solving transitional problems," Cheri Lattimer, RN, BSN, CMSA Executive Director said. "In just under a year, the 27 NTOCC Advisory Task Force organizations have accomplished a tremendous amount by identifying the issues, gaps, and barriers that create transitional challenges and agreeing to work together to address an industry-wide problem."

Most significantly, NTOCC announced plans to update and enhance their current website http://www.ntocc.org. The new website will feature four portal domains geared to consumers, healthcare providers, media, and policy makers.

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.

Formed in 2006, the NTOCC Advisory Board 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 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, Predictive Health, LLC, sanofi-aventis, Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM), The Joint Commission Disease - Specific Care Certification, United Health Group (UHG), and URAC.


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About National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC)
NTOCC was formed in 2006 to address a serious U.S. health care issue: filling the gaps that occur when patients leave one care setting and move to another care setting.  These transitions include patients moving from primary care to specialty physicians; moving or transferring patients from the emergency department to intensive care or surgery; or when patients are discharged from the hospital to home, assisted living arrangements, or skilled nursing facilities.  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 and sponsored by sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC. Visit www.ntocc.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.sanofi-aventis.com.

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.