The Continuity of Care: From Admission to the Recovery at Home




quality improvement, continuity of care, transitions, hand overs, patient perspective


The treatment and support patients receive in their transition from the Emergency Department (ED) to the patient care unit (PCU), and eventually, the community, have clinical consequences, psycho-social outcomes, and financial ramifications. This quality improvement report provides recommendations intended to improve patient experiences and outcomes, in the context of ED crowding. The recommendations provided are informed by the findings of a master's project that examined the transfer of patients from admission in a crowded ED, to a select PCU, and then to the community using process mapping and patient surveys. The purpose of this project was to examine the sequence of care beyond the walls of the ED and include the PCU (McHugh et al., 2011) using a systems approach (Villa, Prenestini, & Giusepi. 2014). We believe that by understanding process successes and failures, between EDs and PCUs, we can make improvements to ensure efficient, effective, and streamlined transitions to promote continuity of care.

Author Biography

Kara Payne, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary

Kara graduated from the University of Calgary in 2005 with her Bachelor of Nursing. Kara has worked General Surgery/Surgical Oncology, Trauma Surgery and the last 12 years in the Emergency Department. Kara has been involved in various committees while in the ED and completed her Masters of Nursing in summer of 2018 with a cap-stone project that studied the continuity of care for surgical patients admitted from the Emergency Department. For fun Kara likes to hang out with her two kids and anything outdoors including: running, biking, camping, hiking, skiing/snowboarding etc. She also enjoy reading, good food and spending time with friends/family.




How to Cite

Payne, K., & Reilly, S. (2020). The Continuity of Care: From Admission to the Recovery at Home. Canadian Journal of Emergency Nursing, 43(1), 28–37.