As every family in crisis knows, a bane of navigating the maelstrom is the atrocious state of care transition. Parents frequently complain of the difficulties with connecting to the services to which their loved ones are referred. Doctors discharging from ERs don’t talk with their counterparts admitting their patients to residential treatment. Hospital social workers don’t follow up after a patient’s discharge to outpatient clinics to ensure services are continued. For a loved one and his family, moving in crisis from a screening to an ER, then to an inpatient hospitalization, then to an outpatient program, and then to community based services and supported, can be like travelling to completely different countries. It should be no surprise that loved ones become “frequent fliers.” The transitions between the levels of care are much too rough, abrupt, error prone, and incomplete.
NTOCC is a group of concerned organizations and individuals who have joined together to address problems associated with transitions of care: the movement of patients from one practice setting to another. During these transitions, poor communication and coordination between professionals, patients and care givers can lead to serious and even life-threatening situations. In addition, these inefficiencies waste resources and frustrate health care consumers.
NTOCC was founded in 2006 by the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) and Sanofi U.S. to define solutions by addressing the gaps that impact safety and quality of care for transitioning patients. The original work of NTOCC was carried out by its Advisory Task Force, an invited group of leading organizations who coalesced around this issue and discussed ways to create and implement solutions benefiting patients. In 2008, a new NTOCC group called Associate Members was introduced, encompassing organizations wanting to support this important work and which were positioned to advance transitional care awareness and solutions. At the same time, individuals who wanted to stay abreast of NTOCC initiatives and tools began joining as individual subscribers.
Since its founding, NTOCC has created a variety of white papers and statements defining transition issues; tools to help health care professionals, patients and caregivers establish safer transitions; and resources for practioners and policy makers to improve transitions throughout the health care system. Most of these resources are available free of charge and have been accessed extensively within the United States and globally.
Today, the NTOCC Board of Directors is proud to work with over 30 industry-leading professional associations, medical specialty societies, standards bodies, regulators and government organizations, which make up the Advisors Council to guide and develop NTOCC tools and resources. In addition, over 450 organizations participate as Associate Members that review, test, critique and implement NTOCC produced tools and material. Another 3,200 individual professionals, enrolled as subscribers, receive news and material from NTOCC on transitions of care improvement.
The original focus of NTCC has been on elder care, but the organization is exploring how to increase attention to psychiatric care transitions. Families in the maelstrom should get to know NTCC and follow its important work.
To visit the TNCC website, click here.
To see all of PsychOdyssey’s national level links, click here.