Hospitals work to improve transition care

Mercy and Unity Hospitals, part of Allina Health, have partnered in a new effort to improve the care for patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities after they leave the hospitals.

The two hospitals, Allina SeniorCare Transitions and area skilled nursing facilities are working together as the North Metro Community Team to improve care coordination across settings of care and to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions.

The initiative is supported by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and is led by Stratis Health.

Stratis has been contracted by CMS as Minnesota’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization.

The North Metro Community Team partners will identify specific causes of poor transitions in each community, engage stakeholders as partners and implement evidence-based interventions.

“Unity Hospital is honored and excited to work with other health care providers in our community to improve the transition of care for patients,” said Lori Wightman, hospital president.

“When our patients and their caregivers have the information they need when they leave the hospital, the patient’s care can continue without interruption.”

Sara Criger, president of Mercy Hospital, agreed.

“Evidence shows that when transitions are managed with more deliberate coordination, it reduces errors and delays, and increases a patient’s control in making informed health care decisions,” Criger said.

The goal is to reduce 30-day readmissions to hospitals by 20 percent by July 2014.

“Stratis Health is pleased to lead this important initiative and congratulates these Minnesota health care organizations for their commitment to making care safer by improving coordination across settings of care,” said Jennifer P. Lundblad, president and chief executive officer, Stratis Health.

The North Metro Community Team comprises Allina Health, Allina SeniorCare Transitions, Anoka Care Center, Camilia Rose Care Center, Crest View Lutheran Home, Guardian Angels Care Center, Health & Rehabilitation of New Brighton, Mercy Hospital, St. Anthony Health Center and Unity Hospital.