Developing a Clinical Practice Guideline for Improving Communication During Transitions of Care
Transition of care refers to the movement of patients between health care settings; it occurs each time patients move between providers within the same setting or between settings based on the patient's acute or chronic health care needs. Care transition includes the efficient and accurate exchange of information needed to provide high-quality continuity of care. A rural community hospital in in the northeastern region of the United States has a skilled nursing facility and an acute care hospital on one campus. This project focused on the development of a clinical practice guideline (CPG) for the hospital to improve communication during transitions of care. The Iowa model of evidence-based practice informed the development of the guideline. A project team developed the CPG. Five multidisciplinary experts reviewed the CPG using the appraisal of guidelines for research and evaluation (AGREE II) evaluative tool. Results for the 6 domains of the AGREE II tool showed experts' agreement greater than 90% with the guideline as developed. The creation of a CPG to improve communication during care transition could benefit nurses with improved clinical decision making and patients with improved outcomes. The CPG could impact social change by supporting the application of the principles of evidence-based nursing practice, which could result in improved care and patient outcomes.