Post-Discharge Follow-up: The Impact on Patient Satisfaction

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Post-Discharge Follow-up: The Impact on Patient Satisfaction

April 18, 2019

Consider this scenario.  Two patients have been in the hospital for identical situations and coincidentally, have the same team of doctor and nurses during their stay.  When they are discharged in the same timeframe, they are sent to their respective homes with a variety of information, including prescriptions, insurance documents, possible exercises and therapies and broader discharge instructions.  

 

 

Let’s consider the first patient, whom we’ll call John.  John arrives home and settles into his “new routine” of recovery.  He scans through all the discharge materials and makes plans to get prescriptions filled and schedule his physical therapy activities.  On the second day after being discharged, he receives a call from the hospital, just to double-check that he’s recovering and taking his medication, and that he is generally feeling better.  The hospital phone call concludes, and John continues in his activities.  A few weeks later, John receives a patient satisfaction survey about his hospital stay, and he completes the form which he promptly returns.

 

Now, let’s consider the second patient, whom we’ll call Tom.  Tom arrives home and settles into his “new routine” of recovery.  He scans through all the discharge materials and makes plans to get prescriptions filled and schedule his physical therapy activities. He does not receive any specific follow-up from the hospital after returning home. A few weeks later, Tom receives a patient satisfaction survey about his hospital stay, and he completes the form which he promptly returns.

 

When these satisfaction scores are reviewed, John’s scores are significantly higher than Tom’s scores – in fact, in some categories, John’s scores are more than double those of Tom.  And yet, they were in the same hospital at the same time for the same diagnosis, with care provided by the same team of doctors and nurses.  Everything seemed the same, including the discharge experience and the return home for recovery.  EXCEPT for one important action.  John received a follow-up from the hospital, while Tom did not.  It seems unlikely that their recollection of their hospital experience would be that different, and especially when their discharge instructions were identical.  But that is the result in this scenario.

 

Actually, this isn’t a hypothetical scenario, but a summary of actual results.  When evaluation results at one client hospital, satisfaction scores of two groups of discharged patients with similar circumstances were compared, with the primary difference being a hospital post-discharge follow-up managed by PREMEDEX.  Patients included in the PREMEDEX Patient Discharge Management (PDM) program returned significantly higher satisfaction scores than those who were not part of the program … in some categories over TWICE the level of satisfaction when comparing the two patient groups.

 

Patient satisfaction is very important.  First and most importantly, satisfied patients typically have greater confidence about their health and care being provided, which can enhance their recovery progress based on a positive mindset.  Secondly, and of great importance to hospitals, patient satisfaction measures are growing in usage as a basis for measure hospital performance, which can impact their Medicare reimbursements and overall financial well-being.

 

PREMEDEX can help your team better manage your patient population with our innovative solutions built on years of experience and the latest technologies.  Contact PREMEDEX today to learn how we can help your team manage a quality post-discharge follow-up program.

 

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