Health care providers' opinions on communication between nursing homes and emergency departments.
To characterize the beliefs and opinions of nursing home (NH) and emergency medicine providers about communication between NH and emergency departments (ED) during transitions of care of NH residents. A cross-sectional study using a mailed and Internet survey. Physicians, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, and nurses who practice in ED settings and NH settings, affiliated with hospitals of an academic medical center in Rochester, New York. Opinions on communication; beliefs about frequency of information transmission; opinions on how often verbal communication should occur. A total of 155 nurses and medical providers participated in the survey for a response rate of 32.2% (155/481). Of the survey participants, 63.0% and 56.8% had been more than 5 years in their position and facility, respectively. Most respondents felt that important information was lost during patient transfers between NH and ED settings. Providers from ED and NH settings had different opinions on the likelihood that key information would be readily identifiable at patient transfer and that care would include requested tests and follow-up. Providers from both sites of care supported verbal communication at their position when NH residents are transferred to the other setting. Nurses and medical providers from both emergency and NH settings agree that transitional communication is poor between NHs and EDs and support a role for verbal communication during the ED transitions of care of NH residents. (c) 2010 American Medical Directors Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.