The role of hospitals in bridging the care continuum: A systematic review of coordination of care and follow-up for adults with chronic conditions

Melissa De Regge*, Kaat De Pourcq, Bert Meijboom, Jeroen Trybou, Eric Mortier, Kristof Eeckloo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Multiple studies have investigated the outcome of integrated care programs for chronically ill patients. However, few studies have addressed the specific role hospitals can play in the downstream collaboration for chronic disease management. Our objective here is to provide a comprehensive overview of the role of the hospitals by synthesizing the advantages and disadvantages of hospital interference in the chronic discourse for chronically ill patients found in published empirical studies.

Method: Systematic literature review. Two reviewers independently investigated relevant studies using a standardized search strategy.

Results: Thirty-two articles were included in the systematic review. Overall, the quality of the included studies is high. Four important themes were identified: the impact of transitional care interventions initiated from the hospital's side, the role of specialized care settings, the comparison of inpatient and outpatient care, and the effect of chronic care coordination on the experience of patients.

Conclusion: Our results show that hospitals can play an important role in transitional care interventions and the coordination of chronic care with better outcomes for the patients by taking a leading role in integrated care programs. Above that, the patient experiences are positively influenced by the coordinating role of a specialist. Specialized care settings, as components of the hospital, facilitate the coordination of the care processes. In the future, specialized care centers and primary care could play a more extensive role in care for chronic patients by collaborating.

Original languageEnglish
Article number550
Number of pages24
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Chronic disease management
  • Hospital
  • Integrated care
  • Systematic literature review

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