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Strategies to Reduce Hospital Readmissions

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Strategies to Reduce Hospital Readmissions

 

The issue of high hospital readmission rates is one of the most pressing challenges facing healthcare providers today. Not only does this lead to higher costs for the patient and the healthcare system, but it can also lead to poorer outcomes for the patient. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies that healthcare providers can use to reduce hospital readmissions, but it is important to understand which strategies are most effective. In this article, we will explore the various strategies to reduce hospital readmissions and provide an overview of what works and what doesn’t in order to help healthcare providers make informed decisions when it comes to reducing hospital readmissions.

What are hospital readmissions?

A hospital readmission is when a patient is readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of their initial discharge. A readmission is considered preventable when the patient’s condition could have been treated with non-hospital care, or if the patient’s condition could have been treated with less hospital care than was received during the initial hospital stay. Hospital readmission rates are often cited as a metric to measure the quality of care, as they demonstrate how well hospitals are treating their patients. High hospital readmission rates are problematic because they lead to higher costs for the patient and healthcare system, and they can also lead to poorer outcomes for the patient. Health care providers can reduce hospital readmissions by improving quality of care and identifying factors that predict readmission risk.

Causes of hospital readmission

There are a number of potential causes of hospital readmission, including inadequate discharge planning, patient non-adherence to medical recommendations, and lack of social support. To prevent these causes of readmission, healthcare providers should improve discharge planning, provide patient education and support, and use health information technology (HIT) to help patients manage their care at home. Patient non-adherence is one of the most significant causes of hospital readmission. Patients may not follow the recommendations of their healthcare providers due to a number of reasons, including forgetfulness, lack of awareness, inadequate knowledge of how to manage their condition, or a feeling of being overwhelmed. Healthcare providers can reduce non-adherence by offering patient education, providing support to patients through after-discharge follow-up, and using technology to help patients manage their care.

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Strategies to reduce hospital readmissions

Healthcare providers can employ a number of strategies to reduce hospital readmissions, including early discharge planning, patient education, and post-discharge follow-up. They can also use HIT to help patients manage their care at home, which can help reduce non-adherence and improve outcomes. Early discharge planning is a strategy that helps healthcare providers identify patients who are at an increased risk of readmission. Hospitals can use early discharge planning to identify these patients and make sure they receive discharge instructions and assistance with accessing community resources related to their condition.

Early discharge planning also allows healthcare providers to help patients get the services they need to stay healthy after discharge, such as social support, medication management, or assistance with home modifications. Early discharge planning can help healthcare providers identify patients who are at a higher risk of readmission and may not yet be aware of their condition. Prompting patients to self-report their readiness to leave the hospital early may help reduce the number of patients who are ready to go home but remain in the hospital.

Patient education

Healthcare providers can also employ patient education to reduce readmission rates. Patient education, which is often provided by nurses, can help patients manage their condition and access community resources that may improve their health after discharge. Providing educational materials to patients may also help them adhere to their recommendations and reduce non-adherence. Computer-based health information (CBHI), which refers to health information that is available on computers or mobile devices, is also effective at reducing post-discharge readmissions. CBHI may include e-interventions, computerized health coaching, health apps, or internet-based technology that is designed to help patients manage their health conditions and improve their health outcomes. CBHI can help patients manage their health conditions, access community resources, and reduce non-adherence, which may help reduce readmissions.

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Post-discharge follow-up

Healthcare providers can also employ post-discharge follow-up to improve health outcomes and reduce readmissions. Post-discharge follow-up refers to in-person or telephone follow-up to monitor discharged patients and help them access the resources they need after hospitalization. Post-discharge follow-up can help patients manage their condition, find needed resources, and understand follow-up care instructions, Post-discharge follow-up may also include assisting patients with medication management and social support, which can help improve health outcomes. Home Care Services in Halton can be an option for post-discharge follow-up, they may provide in-home visits and support. Post-discharge follow-up can be implemented using a variety of different techniques, including telephone follow-up, automated telephone follow-up systems, in-person visits, and home visits. Post-discharge-follow-up services may be provided by staff from the hospital, community health workers, or a combination of these groups. While research has suggested that post-discharge follow-up has the potential to reduce readmissions, studies have also suggested that its impact may vary based on the specific post-discharge follow-up strategies employed.

HIT to help patients manage their care at home

Health information technology (HIT) can help patients manage their care at home and may reduce hospital readmissions by improving health outcomes. HIT may include technologies such as electronic health records (EHRs), health information exchange, electronic health records, electronic medication administration records, telehealth, computerized provider order entry, and computerized provider-patient interactions. EHRs can be used to help patients manage their care at home. EHRs can help patients manage their care by providing patients with access to their medical history and information on their condition, offering reminders to take medications and follow follow-up care instructions, and providing patient access to specialists, EHRs can also help reduce readmissions by enabling physicians to view patients’ full medical history and make more informed decisions about when to discharge patients after surgery.

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What works and what doesn’t in reducing hospital readmissions?

While each of these strategies has the potential to reduce hospital readmissions, there are some that are more effective than others. Specifically, early discharge planning, patient education to help patients access community resources, and post-discharge follow-up are some of the most effective strategies for reducing readmissions. The impact of health information technology on hospital readmissions is less clear, but it is likely an effective strategy when used to help patients manage their care at home. Senior Home care agency can play a crucial role in this. As with any strategy to reduce hospital readmissions, it is important to understand the evidence base behind these strategies. While many of these strategies have potential to reduce hospital readmissions, there are also other strategies that healthcare providers may employ that don’t have the same impact. For example, increasing the use of nurse-led care transitions, while often suggested as a strategy to reduce readmissions, has been shown to have little to no impact on readmissions.

Conclusion

Hospital readmission rates are a metric that demonstrates how well hospitals are treating their patients. High hospital readmission rates are problematic, not only because they lead to a higher cost for the patient and the healthcare system, but also because they can lead to poorer outcomes for the patient. Healthcare providers can reduce hospital readmissions by improving quality of care and identifying factors that predict readmission risk. There are a number of strategies that healthcare providers can use to reduce hospital readmissions, including early discharge planning, patient education, and post-discharge follow-up. While each of these strategies has the potential to reduce hospital readmissions, there are some that are more effective than others. Healthcare providers can also use health information technology to help patients manage their care at home and reduce readmissions.