Consumer Tool Aids Transitions in Care

“Patients cannot ask the questions if they don’t know what to ask or expect.”

In June, the National Transitions of Care Coalition released a new tool, Your Rights During Transitions of Care: A Guide for Health Care Consumers and Family Caregivers. (PDF)

NASW, a founding member of the NTOCC Advisory Task Force, proposed and developed the new resource in collaboration with the National Family Caregivers Association and other task force members. “The bill of rights is an important addition to the other NTOCC consumer tools,” said Chris Herman, senior practice associate at NASW.

“Transitions of care (or care transitions) take place each time you go from one health care provider or health care setting to another,” the guide explains. “Problems often happen during these transitions because information is not communicated. You and your family have the right to care transitions that are safe and well coordinated. This guide can help you get the information and services you need and deserve each step of the way.”

Cheri Lattimer is the NTOCC coalition director and executive director of the Case Management Society of America. CMSA and Sanofi-Aventis, U.S., founded NTOCC in 2006.

Lattimer said the guide encourages better engagement between providers, clients and caregivers to ensure quality transitions of care. She said clients and their families are often the least prepared to interact with their health care team at these times.

“Patients cannot ask the questions if they don’t know what to ask or expect,” Lattimer said. Having a resource that explains what a client can expect and request allows for more informed decisions, she said.

“It was extremely important that this resource be written in language the consumer would relate to and understand,” Lattimer added. “I believe the leadership that NASW provided on this resource accomplished that.”

Herman said the new NTOCC tool complements other “bill of rights” documents such as those specific to family caregiving, grief, hospice care, pain management and prescription drug use.