Surgical patients often receive poor care coordination as they move between healthcare providers within the community and inpatient settings. Frequently, patients and their caregivers are uncertain of the steps needed to obtain high-quality surgical care. To study how surgical care coordination can be improved from the patient and caregiver perspective, we established a group of patient and professional stakeholders known as the Utah-Intermountain Partnership to Improve Surgical Care Transitions (U-IMPACT). During the Tier I award period, this group engaged a diverse population of surgical patients and their caregivers within the Intermountain West and used their experiences to explore where major problems in care coordination exist. We also reached out to different medical providers to identify common deficiencies in surgical care coordination from their perspective.
During the Tier II award period, we will expand this U-IMPACT partnership to clinical providers and research stakeholders. This will include community outreach to broaden our partnership base among stakeholders who influence surgical care delivery at the local, regional, and national levels. Our Tier II project will include analyses of patient focus groups and surveys to elicit preferences for how patients and their caregivers most effectively prepare for and recover from surgery. We will use these activities to identify different topic areas for comparative effectiveness research, which may have the potential to significantly improve care coordination for patients during transitions of surgical care.