Lack of Communication Between ER Doctors and Primary Care Physicians Undermines Effective Care

ER doctors and primary care physicians “rarely” contact each other to clarify information on a patient or discuss treatment plans, according to a new study by the think tank Center for Studying Health System Change.  The study also found that doctors describe sharing records with one another as cumbersome.  An article on the study in The Seattle Times cited research out of Yale which found the relationship between doctor and patient is also fraught with communication problems.  A survey of both doctors and patients found large gaps between what doctors think patients know and what patients actually do know with regards to diagnoses and prescription side effects.  Only a small percentage of patients could even name their attending physician.  The data is troubling.  It’s been shown that many preventable medical errors result from a lack of communication among caregivers.


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