The American Medical Association has outlined five key responsibilities physicians should adopt when providing care for patients recently discharged from the hospital.
The recommendations listed in the report were developed to improve safety and reduce hospital readmissions for patients returning home, according to the AMA Center for Patient Safety, which is attempting to build a bridge between inpatient and outpatient settings.
With the new guidelines, The Center for Patient Care study says it hopes to break a historic trend that left the responsibility for transition plans almost solely in the hands of the inpatient clinical teams.
"There has been relatively little attention paid to exploring specific roles and responsibilities for outpatient clinics and other ambulatory practices during care transitions," the study says.
"But one thing we know is that patients leaving the hospital too often return to ambulatory care settings that are not well connected to the hospital team and this can result in inefficient, confusing and sometimes unsafe conditions."