Improving transitions of care from the acute care setting has been an important focus of health policy in the United States and Canada. Over the past decade, hospital performance metrics related to successful recovery have been used in the United States to implement incentives for reform. This focus has led to a laudable number of interventions to reduce readmissions--a proxy for failed recovery--but most of these have focused on the hospital or system level rather than the individual physician level. Individual physicians in both the inpatient and outpatient setting have important roles to play, but little guidance or structured support is available to them to enable successful engagement in postdischarge management of patient transitions. We describe several tensions of physician engagement in this process from the perspective of front-line providers and highlight several possible approaches to improve physician engagement in transitions.
© 2015 Society of Hospital Medicine.