Case Management

Tip: Address caregivers' comfort

Case Management Weekly, June 16, 2010

Patient or family inconvenience can be a significant factor affecting length of stay, especially when a discharge plan requires education or coordination of multiple services.

Without valid medical conditions, however; factors that may cause the patient or family inconvenience (e.g., time and money needed to care for the patient at home, concern about traveling to a physician’s office, factors that may cause the patient to worry) don’t justify a continued hospital stay. For example, if a patient is medically no longer in need of hospital care but the patient’s primary caregiver is uncomfortable in the role, a referral to a home health agency or transfer to a post-acute level of care may be necessary as the  family learns to administer care.

Discharge planners are not insensitive to inconvenience, but they must work with caregivers to help them understand that patients ready for discharge don’t belong in a hospital.

This week’s tip is adapted from Discharge Planning Guide: Tools for Compliance, Second Edition published by HCPro, Inc. For more information about this book or to order your copy, visit the HCMarketplace.

Do you have a question about a case management topic? Send it to Associate Editor Ben Amirault at bamirault@hcpro.com. An answer to your question might appear in a future issue of Case Management Weekly.

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