LINCOLN, Neb., April 28, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to a new article released in the April 2015 issue of Home Healthcare Now by Dr. Jennifer Volland and Sue Blockberger-Miller, and published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW), the need for seamless care coordination between hospitals and home health agencies has grown more important for healthcare providers following the legislative enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Tougher scrutiny, reimbursement impact, and a greater focus on patient engagement throughout the healthcare continuum has elevated the role of home healthcare clinicians. Further, the 2014 addition of three care transitions metrics to the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey for public reporting has promoted greater collaboration and coordination between acute and post-acute care environments.

The article advocates for alignment between hospitals and home healthcare clinicians, including a focus on the drivers that impact preventable 30-day readmissions, patient engagement best practices, the importance of interdisciplinary staff engagement, and other takeaways that help improve outcomes and encourage patient-centered care.

"Organizations across the full continuum of care are under greater examination for providing exemplary and transparent outcomes to patients. Patients view their care experience across encounters and not in a vacuum. As such, the industry needs to shift toward dynamic partnerships, from the vantage of how a patient experiences their care. This means viewing processes the same way that patients do—and starts with transitions across settings," said Dr. Jennifer Volland, vice president of program development for National Research Corporation and the lead author.

"Exceptional quality, safety, and outcomes are an interwoven set of components that patients rightfully expect. Adoption of best practices is no longer enough in today's environment. Collaboration between healthcare sectors is needed for fully optimizing processes and closing our transition gaps," continued Volland.

"As a clinician, these topics are not only important for providing positive patient experiences and better outcomes, but also the ability to demonstrate value as a quality home healthcare provider is essential to the ongoing health of an agency's referral base," said Sue Blockberger-Miller, senior vice president of operations for Home Care Partners of Cincinnati and the co-author of the article.

The authors of the article are teaming up for a complimentary webinar for home health providers today, April 28, at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Register here for the session or to access the recording.

You can also read more about care transitions from Dr. Jennifer Volland in the National Research Corporation blog, Care Transitions in the Spotlight, Part I and Part II.

About National Research Corporation

For more than 30 years, National Corporation (NASDAQ: NRCIA and NRCIB) has been at the forefront of patient-centered care. Today, the company's focus on empowering customer-centric healthcare across the continuum, which extends patient-centered care to incorporate families, communities, employees, senior housing residents, and other stakeholders.

National Research is dedicated to representing the true voice of patients and other healthcare stakeholders. This integration of cross-continuum metrics and analytics uncovers insights for effective performance improvement, quality measurement, care transitions, and many other factors that impact population health management.

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Source:National Research Corporation