Case Management

Tip: Appeal to key decision-makers when advocating for transitions programs

Case Management Weekly, May 2, 2012

There are some key factors to think about and plan for when implementing a transition program.

Beginning strategically, it is important to determine what your organization hopes to accomplish by implementing a transition program. This can help you measure success and justify future efforts. Suggestions have been provided for outcome indicators. However, a great deal of consideration must be given to the organization’s priorities.

Most organizational decision-makers will be interested in how a new program affects clinical, service, and financial outcomes. It is important toknow how your key decision makers will judge the program’s success.

Healthcare organizations will invest in a transitions program for a variety of reasons. In a managed care market, the financial impact of reducing hospital utilization is obvious. However, there are benefits even in a fee-for-service market.

Reducing emergency department overcrowding and making room for more profitable patients could justify a transition program in a hospital with high volumes. Reimbursement and the regulatory environment are providing increasing incentives for smooth handoffs, better communication among providers, and programming to improve patient self-management.

Softer, but no less important, are the contributions these programs make to enhancing an organization’s community image. Transitions programs can improve patient loyalty and relationships with other providers.

This week’s tip is adapted from Reducing Readmissions: A Blueprint for Improving Care Transitions, published by HCPro, Inc.


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