A new study from Boston Medical Center (BMC) in the US investigated what patients and caregivers want from providers during a care transition and found that caring attitudes, accountability from the health system, and continuity of care were the most sought-after outcomes.
The research team looked at patient and caregiver responses after hospital stays to ascertain the values and health services they desired most during the hospital discharge process, interviewing 248 patients and caregivers individually and in groups across six US medical centres who had been discharged from a medical setting in the previous 90 days.
The researchers found that, when achieved, care was perceived as excellent and trustworthy, but when providers failed to meet these outcomes, care was seen as unsafe or transactional and left patients and caregivers feeling abandoned. Poor outcomes were found to lead to mistrust, anxiety, and confusion and to precipitate conflict, avoidable healthcare use and delayed or worse outcomes.
“Health systems must learn how to better prepare patients and caregivers for care at home and design accessible channels for ongoing support in order to ensure the journey from hospital to home is safe and supports each person's recovery,” said Dr Suzanne Mitchell, a family medicine and palliative care physician at BMC who led the study.