Building communication between professionals at children's specialty hospitals and the medical home

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics; Meyers Primary Care Institute

Publication Date


Document Type



Child; Communication; Continuity of Patient Care; Female; Hospitals, Pediatric; Humans; *Interdisciplinary Communication; Male; Massachusetts; Physician's Practice Patterns; Physician's Role; Primary Health Care; Quality Assurance, Health Care; Quality Indicators, Health Care; Questionnaires; Research Design


Health Services Research | Pediatrics | Primary Care


OBJECTIVE: Build a quality improvement (QI) intervention to improve communication between a children's specialty hospital and referring primary care providers (PCPs).

METHODS: A network of charitable children's hospitals identified improving communication as a systemwide goal. At one model hospital, we used qualitative telephone interviewing of hospital specialists and staff, and referring PCPs, to characterize the communication system and identify potential improvements. We identified potential high-impact areas through content analysis and developed a QI change package with hospital leadership.

RESULTS: Participants described inconsistent communication, with no systematic identification of PCPs. Families were the typical means of inter-physician communication. Multiple non-PCP referral sources were a major contributor to communication breakdowns. Respondents identified a system for identification and communication with PCPs as an essential first step.

CONCLUSIONS: Systems for communication with PCPs are underdeveloped at a children's charitable specialty hospital. Straightforward changes could build an effective system that is generalizable to other hospitals.

DOI of Published Version



Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2009 Jul;48(6):661-73. Epub 2009 Mar 12. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Clinical pediatrics

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID