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Daily huddles help smooth VUH patient transition process

Oct. 31, 2013, 10:04 AM

Daily multidisciplinary patient transition huddles are now in effect for all but four units of Vanderbilt University Hospital.

“In addition to the immediate benefits of better coordination and smoother patient transitions, we believe the huddles also help to reduce unnecessary hospital days for our patients, ensure patients are aligned with the most appropriate post-discharge services based on their needs, and contribute to the lowering of VUH readmission rates,” said Beth Anctil, administrative director of Transition Management.

The first VUH daily transition huddle was launched by the Stroke Service in early 2012. Designed to improve discharge planning, the huddles help care teams engage the patient in the transition process, anticipate patient needs following hospitalization, and coordinate post-acute care, such as specialty and primary care follow-up visits, home health services and rehabilitation services.

The huddles bring together providers, charge nurses, case managers, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and, where appropriate, representatives from post-acute partners like Vanderbilt Home Care, Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute and Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital.

The four units that haven’t yet launched huddles will do so by the end of the year, according to Donna Cella, R.N., a project manager with Transition Management. These units — 8 North, 8 South, 9 North and 9 South — are general medicine and general surgery units serving relatively heterogeneous patient populations, which complicates logistics for daily multidisciplinary huddles.

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