Hospitals Are Getting Better at Sharing Medication Histories and Reducing Unnecessary Stays, New AHRQ Chartbook Shows
Nearly half of all hospitals electronically exchanged patients’ medication histories with other hospitals by 2013, and unnecessary hospitalizations were reduced by more than 20 percent, according to AHRQ’s newChartbook on Care Coordination. The chartbook measures how well the nation is promoting effective communication and coordination of care, which can reduce unnecessary hospitalizations, repeated tests and conflicting prescriptions while promoting clearer communication between providers and patients. This chartbook is part of a family of documents and tools that support the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report and 5th Anniversary Update on the National Quality Strategy. The report provides an overview of the quality of U.S. health care as well as disparities in care for various racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. From 2009 to 2013, the percentage of hospitals that electronically exchanged patients’ medication history with hospitals outside their system increased from 13.4 percent to 49.6 percent. AHRQ provides tools and resources to improve care coordination in various health care settings, including the Re-Engineered Discharge (RED) Toolkitand MATCH Toolkit for Medication Reconciliation.