Perspectives in Hospital Medicine

Care team identification in the electronic health record: A critical first step for patient‐centered communication

Abstract

Patient‐centered communication is essential to coordinate care and safely progress patients from admission through discharge. Hospitals struggle with improving the complex and increasingly electronic conversation patterns among care team members, patients, and caregivers to achieve effective patient‐centered communication across settings. Accurate and reliable identification of all care team members is a precursor to effective patient‐centered communication and ideally should be facilitated by the electronic health record. However, the process of identifying care team members is challenging, and team lists in the electronic health record are typically neither accurate nor reliable. Based on the literature and on experience from 2 initiatives at our institution, we outline strategies to improve care team identification in the electronic health record and discuss potential implications for patient‐centered communication. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2016;11:381–385. © 2016 Society of Hospital Medicine

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