Case Management

Sneak peek: See the discharge process through the patient’s eyes

Case Management Weekly, March 17, 2010

The advent of the DRG system gave hospitals an incentive to decrease LOS. The average LOS is two days shorter than it was 15 years ago, according to Greg Nelson, president of Baptist Leadership Group (BLG) in Pensacola, FL.

Financial implications are not the only reasons to reduce LOS, says Stefani Daniels, RN, MSNA, CMAC, ACM, managing partner at Phoenix Medical Management, Inc. in Pompano Beach, FL. The acute care setting is a high-risk environment, and patients are safer in a lower level of care or at home.

Regardless, the reduction in LOS has made the discharge process critical. Patients and their families now change wound dressings, administer medications, and monitor progress. “We expect patients to serve as their own little case managers,” says Daniels. “And in most cases, it is unrealistic.”

Case managers and discharge planners must reinforce the discharge plan, ensure that patients understand the discharge instructions, and follow up with patients to ensure they remember those instructions.

Check out the April 2010 issue of Case Management Monthly to learn more. You also can discover the benefits of becoming a Case Management Monthly subscriber.

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