Methods and effectiveness of communication between hospital allied health and primary care practitioners: A systematic narrative review

Jacinta Sheehan, Kate Laver, Anoo Bhopti, Miia Rahja, Tim Usherwood, Lindy Clemson, Natasha A. Lannin

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Abstract

Background: There is a compelling rationale that effective communication between hospital allied health and primary care practitioners may improve the quality and continuity of patient care. It is not known which methods of communication to use, nor how effectively they facilitate the transition of care when a patient is discharged home from hospital. Our systematic review aims to investigate the methods and effectiveness of communication between hospital allied health and primary care practitioners. Methods: Systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies with narrative synthesis. Medline, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsycInfo and Proquest Nursing and Allied Health Sources were searched from January 2003 until January 2020 for studies that examined hospital-based allied health professionals communicating with community-based primary care practi-tioners. Risk of bias in the different study designs was appraised using recognized tools and a content analysis conducted of the methodologies used. Results: From the located 12,281 papers (duplicates removed), 24 studies met the inclusion criteria with hospital allied health communicating in some form with primary care practitioners. While none of the included studies specifically investigated the methods or effectiveness of communication between hospital allied health and primary care practitioners, 12 of the 24 studies described processes that addressed components of their discharge communication. Four enablers to effective communication between hospital allied health and primary care practitioners were identified: multidisciplinary care plans, patient and caregiver involvement, health information technology and a designated person for follow up/care management. Conclusion: There is currently no “gold standard” method or measure of communication between hospital allied health and primary care practitioners. There is an urgent need to develop and evaluate multidisciplinary communication with enhanced information technologies to improve collaboration across care settings and facilitate the continuity of integrated people-centered care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-511
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Collaboration
  • Continuity of care
  • Discharge plan
  • Multidisciplinary

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