Quality of physician care coordination during inter-facility transfer for cardiac arrest patients.


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We sought to evaluate whether the quality of coordination between physicians transferring comatose cardiac arrest survivors to a high-volume cardiac arrest center for targeted temperature management (TTM) was associated with timeliness of care.We conducted a retrospective analysis of inter-facility transfers to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for TTM between October 2016 and October 2018. We examined the relationship between Relational Coordination (RC) – a measure of communication and relationship quality – during phone conversations between transferring physicians and time-to-acceptance.We identified 18 patients meeting criteria. TTM was initiated or continued in 72%, and in-hospital mortality was 75%. Median time-to-acceptance was 2.77 (interquartile range [IQR] 2.0, 4.1) minutes, and duration of calls was 3.95 (IQR 2.7, 5.2) minutes. Interrater reliability for overall RC was high (rho = 0.87). The correlation between RC and the time-to-acceptance was significant in univariate analyses (adjusted relative risk = 0.96, 95%CI 0.93, 1.0, p = 0.05). Secondary analyses did not find a significant relationship between RC and timeliness measures.In this sample of patients transferred for TTM, we found that RC as a measure of care coordination, was reliable. Higher quality care coordination for cardiac arrest survivors was associated with faster physician acceptance. Future work using a larger cohort should explore if higher RC among a broader set of stakeholders (physicians, EMS, families, etc.) is associated with timeliness measures after adjusting for other factors, to better understand how the quality of care coordination impacts timeliness of care and patient outcomes.

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