Community/Hospital/Urgent Care relationship

An intact communication pathway between the Street Medicine provider, outreach/case management partner and the hospital inpatient or emergency department team is critical for good patient outcomes in the event of hospitalization. Poor communication can lead to patients leaving the hospital against medical advice, hospital readmissions, or a missed opportunity for a patient to be discharged to a safe setting for needed recuperation.

The street medicine provider should identify the treating hospital physician (inpatient or emergency room) and communicate directly with him or her. The street medicine provider needs to play an assertive advocacy role in contacting the right person. The inpatient team will often appreciate and rely on the information the Street Medicine Team has to offer.

Care coordinators from the Street Medicine Team can work with hospital social workers or discharge planners to collaborate on feasible discharge plans.