Patient Safety and the Elderly

Dr. Andrew Coburn, Professor of Public Health and Associate Dean of the Muskie School of Public Service, recently co-authored a policy brief with Policy Analyst Karen Pearson entitled Emergency Transfers of the Elderly to Critical Access Hospitals: Opportunities for Improving Patient Safety and Quality as part of the study conducted by the Flex Monitoring Team with funding from the federal Office of Rural Health Policy.  USM is one of three institutions (with University of Minnesota and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) on the research team, assessing the evidence base and best practices for improving nursing facility to hospital care transitions, focusing on transfer protocols as indicators of patient safety.  The goal is to standardize transfer forms and improve the communication flow between nursing facilities, hospitals, and emergency medical staff.

The complete Policy Brief can be read online: PDF