BioScience Trends. 2021;15(1):55-57. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2021.01056)
Transitional care during COVID-19 pandemic in Japan: Calls for new strategies to integrate traditional approaches with information and communication technologies
Sumikawa Y, Yamamoto-Mitani N
Transitional care is indispensable in successfully transitioning patients from hospital to home and preventing adverse events during this process. There were restricted services in several hospitals for minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, hospitals could not provide adequate transitional care that possibly resulted in poor post-discharge outcomes in patients. Some hospitals have now combined infection prevention with face-to-face opportunities, i.e., requiring reservations for transitional care consultation and restricting pre-discharge conferences. Several hospitals started providing pre-discharge conferences using apps, where patients/family caregivers and care teams could have face-to-face discussions about medical and nursing care plans, goals, and preferences. However, building a relationship between patient/family and medical/nursing staff and providing decision-making, psychological support, and risk assessment generally performed in person are still in demand. New hybrid strategies should be developed and evaluated to provide transitional care while using online systems and minimal face-to-face support during the pandemic.