Participation in a new hospital to home quality improvement initiative has helped to improve hospital readmission strategies, including tracking discharged patients and partnering with local hospitals, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Researchers from the American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) Hospital to Home (H2H) Quality Improvement Initiative evaluated survey data from 594 U.S. hospitals enrolled in the H2H program, and compared implementation of readmission strategies from 2010 to 2012.
Results showed that in the follow-up survey:
- More hospitals were partnering with other local hospitals to reduce readmissions (30.7 percent vs. 22.9 percent; P=.002);
- More hospitals were discharging patients with a follow-up appointment already made (61.1 percent vs. 52.4 percent; P=.005);
- More hospitals were tracking the percentage of patients who were discharged with follow-up appointments within seven days (43.0 percent vs. 32.2 percent; P<.001) and those readmitted to other hospitals (19.0 percent vs. 12.0 percent; P=.001).
Additional strategies that showed improvement include use of electronic health records (EHRS) to more formally track readmissions, as well as teach-back techniques for the patient to better understand the provider’s instructions. Further, more hospitals were providing action plans to patients discharged with heart failure, and performing follow-up calls for additional education.
However, the authors did find areas for improvement, including a process for alerting outpatient physicians about discharges within 48 hours, follow-up of test results returned after the patients were discharged, sending the discharge summary to the primary care physician, and nurse-to-nurse reporting before discharge to a nursing home.
Source: American College of Cardiology (ACC), January 9, 2014
2014 Healthcare Benchmarks: Reducing Hospital Readmissions documents the latest key initiatives and partnerships to reduce readmissions by patients with costly conditions and others by more than 100 healthcare organizations. This 60-page report, now in its fourth year, for the first time provides details on partnerships with post-acute care to reduce readmissions from these care sites.