How is research on patient-centered transitional care going? A supplement on this topic funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) was recently published in Medical Care. Care transitions are “ripe with hazard,” as discussed in an editorial from Amy Berman. As pointed out by Berman, figuring out what works and what doesn’t is critical to improve health and reduce harm. Fortunately, PCORI has invested $132 million into research in this area.
This supplement describes the early results of that investment. It “focus[es] on opportunities and challenges involved in conducting patient-centered clinical comparative effectiveness research in transitional care,” according to Dr. Carly Parry and co-authors.
New evidence has not always translated into meaningful outcomes improvement. Many interventions in this area are complex, with multiple components. Comparing across interventions is difficult, as is comparing across components. Few interventions take patient desires into account. Important factors, such as quality-of-life, caregiver burden, and decision-making have historically been missing from the transitional care literature. Research featured in this supplement, however, centers on both patients and comparative effectiveness.
A paper by Dr. Sabina Gesell and colleagues highlights the findings and implications of the PCORI transitional care portfolio so far. The authors identify three key themes: