Volume 14, Issue 6, August 2010, ISBN 1832 620X

RESEARCH ROUNDup - Continuity and safety in care transitions: communication at the hospital/community care interface

Sandy Muecke, PHCRIS

Issue 11 of RESEARCH ROUNDup was recently published. Continuity and safety in care transitions: communication at the hospital/community care interface outlines communication mishaps that may occur at the time of hospital discharge, as care is transferred back to the community. The physical, emotional and financial implications of adverse events arising from communication failures and poor care coordination at discharge are described, including their impact upon the patient, their family, care providers, and the wider community. Several Australian and overseas studies provided insight into the scope of the problem.

An Australian systematic review, conducted in 2006, described strategies that addressed care coordination problems. Interventions were grouped according to their level of implementation within the health care sector; patient/health service provider, organisational, or health system levels. The majority of strategies described were directed at the provider level with few occurring at the organisational level, and only one addressed change from the health system level. The ROUNDup concluded that, in Australia, while a number of health system level strategies designed to improve care coordination (Medicare Locals, eHealth for example) had already been proposed, ongoing research would be required to measure their long-term viability and effectiveness.

This PHCRIS publication is available at <>

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