Date of Publication
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
malcolm, christine m., "Closing the Communication Gap Between Urgent and Primary Care During Patient CareTransitions" (2023). College of Nursing and Health Sciences Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Project Publications. 112.
Available for download on Thursday, May 01, 2025