SDW news brief: Nurse care coordinators lead to major returns in pilot program

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, November 23, 2012

A pilot program in which nurse care coordinators closely managed inpatient and outpatient care for 310 high-risk patients led to large reductions in readmissions and emergency department visits at Mercy Health facilities in Cincinnati. As part of a one-year pilot program, Mercy Health hired six care coordinators for its physician practices and three care-transition nurses for its six hospitals.

Over the course of 12 months, the system saw a 51% reduction in hospital admissions among the group of high-risk patients, as well as a 35% reduction in readmissions and a 37% reduction in emergency department visits. Mercy Health officials plan to hire 30 additional care coordinators in the coming year, which they believe will yield a 5-to-1 return on investment.

The coordinators visited the patients prior to discharge from the hospital, reviewed profess during office and home visits, made periodic phone calls to patients, taught health education classes, and occasionally referred patients to behavioral health counselors. Patients in the high-risk category included those with diabetes, heart disease, and obstructive pulmonary disorders.

Source: Business Courier

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