WHEELING, W.Va. A continuation of a forum designed to address transitional care and reduce repeat hospitalizations is scheduled at Wheeling Hospital.

The first installment, held in December, was attended by more than 100 area home care and long-term care personnel.

In the second session, scheduled for Feb. 26, participants will discuss the readmission programs in use at their particular agencies. The session will begin with registration and breakfast from 9-10 a.m., with guest speaker and open discussion from 10 a.m. to noon.

Heidi Porter, director of Quality Management at Wheeling Hospital, said the focus of the forum is to decrease readmissions and enhance patient safety.

Home care agencies are in a key position to assist patients and caregivers to connect the care provided back and forth across the settings, Porter said.

Care transitions are the transfers patients make between health care practitioners and settings as their condition and care needs change during a chronic or acute illness. For example, in the course of an acute worsening of an illness, a patient might receive care from a primary care physician or specialist in an outpatient setting, then transition to a hospital physician and nursing team during an inpatient admission before moving on to yet another care team at a skilled nursing facility.

Finally, the patient might return home, where he or she would receive care from a visiting nurse. Each of these shifts from care providers and settings is defined as a care transition.

To attend the Care Transitions Forum Part II, register by Feb. 18 by emailing kvoytecek@wheelinghospital.org. For more information, call 304-243-5342.