10 Tips for Reducing Readmission Rates
According to Stephanie Reardon, Revcycleintelligence.com contributor , the Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) states in their 2015 report1 that hospital readmissions are costing Medicare dearly – to the tune of 26 billion dollars.17 billion dollars of this is deemed avoidable!
26 Billion dollars is larger than the 2016 nominal GDP of 46 percent of the world’s countries !
“Reducing readmissions requires careful planning and communication among each of a patient’s providers and caregivers, as well as with community social services and patients themselves. ”
-The Center for Health Information and Analysis
No business will be a going concern for long if they cannot stay profitable.While the financial impact of reducing readmission is clear, it can be easy to lose site of why the hospital is there- the patient. Reducing preventable admissions is a great first step towards providing the best possible care for every patient.
Reasons for unplanned readmissions vary widely, and not all can or should be prevented. A patient who has a difficult time accessing a primary care doctor due to cost, transportation, or any other reason has a greater chance of showing back up to the emergency room.
Although this is a highly complex issue, I feel that there could be some common steps that could be taken for reducing readmissions:
- Reduce hospital acquired infections. The old axiom still applies: The best way to reduce infections is to wash your hands. Everyone, wash your hands !
- Ask questions to clarify your discharge instructions.
- Follow all instructions from your healthcare provider
- Have a support system to help you be accountable for following your treatment plan.
Nurses and Providers:
- Leave your phone in your locker/desk and clean it at least when you arrive and when you leave work.
- Over communicate with your patients. Ask questions to ensure that patients understand your instructions.
- Call or use telemedicine to follow up with the patient.
- Have a follow- up protocol tailored for patient populations at higher risk for readmission (low socioeconomic status, those with multiple chronic conditions, comorbidities, etc. )
- Incorporate education into the patient’s stay. (yourself, nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse navigator, etc.)
- Work together as a team to incorporate a total treatment plan.
Let’s talk. Do you have any tips on preventing readmission? What are your experiences with prior hospital stays? I’d love to hear from you.
Leave a comment or email me at jarret “dot” going “at” dexcomm “dot” com for topics you would like to see discussed, questions, or comments. Thanks!
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