Jeff Couchman 0

Improving Communication from UMC

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The relationship between the pediatric department of Banner University Medical Center and community pediatricians has been deteriorating for over a decade. This deterioration has only been accelerated by the transition of ownership to Banner and the change in EHR to Cerner. Community pediatricians are now unaware when our patients are admitted to the hospital. We may receive a discharge summary at the end of the hospitalization or we may not. We almost never receive a phone call from the attending physician or even a resident to let us know what is happening with our patients. As the primary care physicians for the patients who fill the beds at Diamond Children’s we find this unacceptable. We are asking with this formal petition that this issue be addressed quickly and effectively. We expect the following:

  • Admission H&P’s are to be faxed to a patient’s PCP within 24 hours of admission
  • Discharge summaries are to be faxed to a patient’s PCP within 24 hours of discharge
  • Outpatient visit notes from specialists are to be faxed to a patient’s PCP within 1 week of a visit
  • Communication about significant events involving our patients must be made a priority such that when a patient’s status deteriorates significantly or a new, serious diagnosis is made during an episode of care (be it inpatient or outpatient), that the attending or an appropriate resident contact the PCP by telephone to update that physician on the status of their patient.

Years ago, it was the intern’s responsibility to call all PCP’s when a patient was admitted and to keep them apprised of significant events. Somehow this task has been lost. The responsibility for someone to communicate (be it an attending or a resident) must be reinstated and the culture of the hospital and its physicians must change so that it respects the importance of a primary care physician in the care of the child and also the importance of that child to the primary care physician.

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