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'Communication breakdowns' negatively affect consumers with home health care services

Many older consumers rely on home health care (HHC) services to provide extra help with everyday functions after they’ve been discharged from the hospital, but a recent study shows huge gaps in communication between these professionals, patients’ regular physicians, and hospitals.

Researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus say that they found many discrepancies between medication lists, confusion over who was responsible for writing patient care orders, complaints of inaccessible hospital records, and resistance from clinicians and staff for accountability. And unfortunately, all of those factors wind up just hurting the patient.

"We found that communication breakdowns can have consequences for patients," said lead author Dr. Christine D. Jones. "These are some of our most fragile patients, most are over 65, and more seamless communication is needed."

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