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  1. Sarzynski, Erin MD, MS
  2. Ensberg, Mark MD
  3. Parkinson, Amy RN, BSN, MS
  4. Shahar, Keren MD
  5. Brooks, Kevin PhD
  6. Given, Charles PhD


Nurses report significant gaps in communication among patients discharged from the hospital with home healthcare (HHC) services. The aim of this pilot study was to quantify the contents of HHC admission packets used to guide nurses' first home visit after hospital discharge. We evaluated 20 randomly selected charts of older adults admitted to HHC after a hospitalization for heart failure. Admission packets contained nearly 50 pages of material, which frequently included duplicate documents printed from the hospital-based electronic health record (EHR). Despite the plethora of documents, most packets omitted key information, such as patients' cognitive and functional status, and even discharge summaries, which would be relevant and actionable for HHC nurses. Moreover, admission packets contained multiple, often discordant, EHR-generated medication lists, which makes reconciliation challenging for nurses and puts vulnerable patients at risk for adverse drug events. Overall, there is an urgent need to improve health information exchange between hospitals and HHC agencies, which will simultaneously promote nurse efficiency and patient safety.