SDW news brief: 12 ways to reduce hospital readmissions

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, January 7, 2011

In just 21 months, the federal government will start penalizing hospitals with higher than expected readmission rates.  And even though much about the regulations to come remains unclear, clinicians along the care continuum are scrambling to get ready.

Or they should be.  It's not just important for a hospital's bottom line. It's important for the patient.

Here are some of the prevention strategies that experts think might be worth a shot. Many involve—to a greater or lesser degree—following the patient out of the hospital, either in-person, electronically, or by phone, but others involve upside-down introspection and re-evaluation by providers along the care continuum.

Here is a list of the 12 strategies:

  1. Discharge summaries
  2. Lengthen the handoff process
  3. Provide medication on discharge
  4. Make a follow-up plan before discharge
  5. Telehealth
  6. Identify frequent flyers
  7. Understand what's happening after discharge
  8. Provide home care on wheels
  9. Consider physician medication reconciliation
  10. Make sure patients understand
  11. Focus on highest-risk patients
  12. Listen to the patient

To read more about the strategies and find out how to make them happen, read the rest of this free article here.

Source: HealthLeaders Media

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