Restructuring healthcare delivery systems within limited budgets presents multiple management challenges. As hospitals have downsized, the demand for in-home services has increased. The involvement of multiple provider agencies and professionals has heightened duplication and fragmentation of services and has complicated the need to develop client-focused, evidence-based approaches. In response to these challenges, community-based case management has burgeoned.
Effective patient-physician communication significantly influences health outcomes of older patients. For example, concordance between patient and physician expectations and patient participation in the decision-making process affects older patients. Communication is also linked to patient recall, adherence, and satisfaction. Furthermore, communication impacts emotional and physical outcomes of older patients, although evidence of improved physical outcomes remains under-investigated in this population. Dimensions of communication, such as continuity of relationship, seem to be important in decreasing hospitalization of older patients. This article explores the link between communication and health care outcomes in the older population.