Date of Publication


Project Team

Dr. Melanie Keiffer


Closing the Communication Gap Between Primary Care and Urgent Care During Patient Care Transitions

Author: Christine Malcolm

Background: Continuity of care is the process by which the patient and health care team work together on shared goals to attain high-quality, cost-effective care. Implementing best practice guidelines for communication between health care teams improves continuity of patient care.

Purpose: The aim of this project was to improve communication between urgent and primary care using an evidence-based recommendation to standardize workflow during patient transitions between levels of care.

Methods Electronic health records (EHR) were audited using a tool developed with evidence-based recommendations for best practice documentation. Current communication workflow was evaluated with a failure modes effect analysis. Results were shared with the interprofessional team to gain consensus for a standardized multi-layered workflow which was then implemented. A follow up EHR audit occurred to measure the use of the workflow and the impact on primary care follow up. A one question, Likert scale survey was administered to providers to assess satisfaction with the new process.

Results: There was an increase from 14% to 40% (n=35) in charting that supported communication between express care and primary care and an increase from 80% to 100% (n=35) in patient follow up after the communication workflow was implemented. There was a 47% rate of satisfaction survey response with the majority being satisfied.

Conclusions: Structured multi-layered workflow systems help to support robust communications between teams during patient transitions which is important for continuity of care and best patient outcomes.

Key Words: continuity of care, communication, urgent care, patient transitions, practice guidelines, best practice

Document Type


Available for download on Thursday, May 01, 2025