Case Management

Discharge resource centers on the upswing

Case Management Monthly, July 1, 2016

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Discharge planning has become more important in recent years. Not only is the government putting new focus on ensuring hospitals are helping patients to move to the next level of care more efficiently, but research shows that patients are safer and less likely to return to the hospital if these transitions are well managed.

However, ensuring that discharge plans are carried out efficiently and effectively has been a challenge for many organizations. Enter the postacute resource center (PARC)?a new department many hospitals are adding, which is specifically tasked with ensuring a smooth transition to postacute follow-up.
 
"I encountered the concept of a 'resource center' back in 1997 in a Connecticut hospital," says Stefani Daniels, RN, MSNA, CMAC, ACM, president and managing partner of Phoenix Medical Management, Inc., in Pompano Beach, Florida. The concept was working so well at this hospital the leadership team asked that it not be disturbed during their case management redesign, she says. "Since then, I've been a huge proponent of having a centralized PARC since I've seen firsthand what a value-added service it provides to the entire hospital community."

There are many ways to structure a PARC, but Daniels advocates for using a centralized model, one group that is tasked with facilitating the logistics necessary to carry out discharge plans, because it is the most efficient. In this model the PARC isn't involved in the discharge planning process--that requires professional assessment--but the PARC team ensures that the plan is carried out.

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