Case Management

Communication: A main factor in reducing readmissions

Case Management Weekly, April 9, 2008

In most cases, a hospital’s goal is to improve a patient’s health and eventually discharge him or her home or to another facility where improvement can continue. So when a patient returns to the hospital for an unplanned stay with the same condition not long after discharge, something went wrong.

Readmissions happen for several reasons, but in most cases, they stem from communication breakdowns in the discharge plan, follow-up care, or medication reconciliation. The biggest problem with readmissions is that they cost the hospital and the patient time, money, and resources, says Jacquie Birmingham, RN, MS, vice president of professional services at Curaspan/eDischarge in Newton, MA.

“A lot of the reasons for readmission can be traced back to the discharge process,” Birmingham says. “What happened to the plan that you established? Was it a problem with the actual plan, the nursing home or home care, or the patient’s inability to follow the plan?”


Check out the April 2008 issue of Case Management Monthly to get the complete story, and discover the benefits of being a Case Management Monthly subscriber.



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