“Where am I? I must have missed my stop. I don’t have any money…”

Imagine dozing off on the train and finding you have ridden all the way to Moscow. You don’t speak the language, you don’t have a map, and you don’t know who to talk to to get back on track. This situation is a lot like how patients often feel when discharged from the hospital: handed a diagnosis they don’t necessarily understand, with no plans for followup and without any assurances that they will be able to afford the medications they were prescribed.

This video by Mark Richman, physician innovator at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, dramatizes this plight and explores how OVMC designed an email notification system to automatically inform care managers when patients are hospitalized or discharged. These care managers are like travel agents who can help orient patients and get them on track for their care plan.