Care transitions involve coordination of patient care across multiple care settings. Many problems occur during care transitions resulting in negative patient outcomes and unnecessary readmissions. The purpose of this study was to describe the experience of care transitions from patient, caregiver, and health-care provider perspectives in a single metropolitan Midwest city. A qualitative descriptive design was used to solicit patients', caregivers', and health-care providers' perceptions of care transitions, their role within the process, barriers to effective care transitions, and strategies to overcome these barriers. Five themes emerged: preplanned admissions are ideal; lack of needed patient information upon admission; multiple services are needed in preparing patients for discharge; rushed or delayed discharges lead to patient misunderstanding; and difficulties in following aftercare instructions. Findings illustrated provider difficulty in meeting multiple care needs, and the need for patient-centered care to achieve positive outcomes associated with quality measures, reduced readmissions, and care transitions.
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