In the United States, approximately 43.5 million family caregivers—unpaid relatives and close friends—provide essential care to adults with chronic or terminal illness or serious mental or physical disabilities.
- New Report Probes Hospital Patients’ Refusal of Home Care Services and the Impact on Readmissions and Outcomes
- New Central Line Guide a Key Component of Patient Safety in Home Care Settings
- UHF Releases Toolkit to Assist Hospitals in Implementing New York State’s CARE Act
- United Hospital Fund Releases Two Guides to Help Patients, Family Caregivers Understand What to Expect During Transition from Hospital to Home Care
- Carol Levine: No Caregiver Is an Island, Though It May Seem That Way
Through innovative research and analysis, broad dissemination of findings, and collaboration with health care and social service providers to stimulate systemic change, United Hospital Fund works to advance public and professional understanding of the crucial role family caregivers play in the health care system.
UHF stimulates the development of sound policies and programs that support family caregivers’ needs for information, education, training, and inclusion in the patient’s health care team. While New York is the focus of much of this work, its impact and relevance are national.
Contact: Carol Levine
Next Step in Care: Family Caregivers and Health Care Professionals Working Together
Next Step in Care is a program to change practice so that family caregivers are routinely involved in planning, decision making, and coordinating care, particularly around transitions in care settings (i.e., when patients move from one care setting to another, such as from hospital to rehabilitation or home). While transitions are key points at which patient safety and care coordination are at risk, most efforts to address associated problems have focused on provider-to-provider communications, essentially excluding family caregivers from the solution.
Family caregivers often assume tremendous responsibility for care following transitions, but are seldom integrated into the transition process. This is where Next Step in Care makes a difference. The Next Step in Care website makes available to family caregivers and health care providers 25 field-tested guides and checklists—in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian—that are simple, accurate, and task-oriented. Topics covered include medication management, assessing one's needs as a caregiver, planning for discharge, HIPAA, and hospice and palliative care.
Next Step in Care efforts include outreach to organizations that directly serve family caregivers, and Transitions in Care-Quality Improvement Collaborative, or TC-QuIC, a multi-provider initiative working to find optimal ways to integrate the Next Step in Care guides and checklists into routine care.
Highlights from the Fund's Past Work on Family Caregiving
Next Step in Care is a result of years of United Hospital Fund work. See a timeline of the Fund's work on family caregiving.
Resources for family caregivers and health care providers are available at our Next Step in Care website.