In the news: Changing discharge, transition procedures to limit readmissions

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, February 1, 2010

Reducing hospital readmissions has entered the sights of government agencies, national quality improvement organizations, and more in recent years—and hospitals are turning to tactics to improve procedures, like better discharge processes, to bring readmission numbers down, reports Hospitals and Health Networks.

Provider groups like the American Hospital Association have developed recommendations for ways hospitals can work to cut down on readmission rates: everything from staff working with patients to better understand their medications, their dietary instructions after discharge, and their follow-up care.

While in years past, the report states, hospital readmissions were not thought of as foreseeable, academics and clinicians alike are making and using evidence-based tools for tracking the causes of readmissions.

Improved care transitions in certain studies have led to drops in readmissions—and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has its eyes on care transitions as well, and is currently in the midst of a three-year study with 14 quality improvement organizations to promote “seamless transitions from hospital to home, skilled nursing care, or home health care,” the report states.

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