Making sure that transitions in care—moving patients from one setting to another—are safe and smooth is a critical challenge in health care today. Chronically ill patients move frequently between health care settings, and these transitions should be carefully planned and coordinated. Family caregivers—relatives, partners, friends, and neighbors--are essential to successful transitions. Yet family caregivers are often left out of planning and are poorly prepared to take on new, complex, and demanding tasks and responsibilities. Created by the United Hospital Fund, Next Step in Care: Family Caregivers and Health Care Professionals Working Together was designed to change health care practice by routinely identifying, acknowledging, training, and supporting family caregivers, especially at times of transitions in care.
Next Step in Care provides practical advice and easy-to-use guides for both health care providers and family caregivers that focus on transitions between hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, and home. The program is part of a broader movement in health care to improve quality and safety and reduce unnecessary rehospitalizations. While New York is the primary focus of the United Hospital Fund's and this program’s work, the impact and relevance are national and even international.
Developing Next Step in Care
United Hospital Fund Family Caregiving Chronology