Avoiding the “R” word in Healthcare: Readmissions

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Avoiding the “R” word in Healthcare: Readmissions

November 21, 2019

Since 2012, health systems across the United States have been challenged with penalties designed to bring better patient care through value-based initiatives.  A large part of that conversation involves a focus on reducing readmissions, especially among Medicare-eligible patients.  Penalties, in the form of reduced Medicare reimbursements, impact hospitals of all sizes by hundreds of millions of dollars every year.  And unfortunately, the shortfalls can often have a direct negative impact on day-to-day staffing and other critical resources.

 

 

There are various reasons why patients are readmitted after being discharged from a hospital visit.  Generally, these factors can be categorized as unavoidable and avoidable (or manageable).  Unavoidable factors are perhaps self-explanatory, in that a patient’s illness does not improve as anticipated, as well as new complicating circumstances occur after the patient is discharged.  Even with advanced scientific methods and modern medicine, each patient scenario is unique and can present unexpected results.

 

However, there are avoidable factors that lead to readmission.  A recent study suggested the following as key causes of avoidable readmissions:

  1. Premature discharge

  2. Inadequate post-discharge support

  3. Insufficient follow-up

  4. Therapeutic errors

  5. Adverse drug reactions

  6. Failed transitions

  7. Complications following procedures

  8. Infections and patient falls

 

At a quick glance – at least half of these reasons suggest ineffective or inadequate communication.  Simply put, many readmissions can be avoided through better communication and follow-up with patients.  But caregivers are challenged with allocating their time between helping admitted patients and ongoing follow-up with discharged patients, and especially with continued resource constraints resulting from financial penalties that impact staffing plans.  It is almost an endless cycle that is difficult to change.

 

And that’s where PREMEDEX can help.  Our team of trained professionals, backed by highly innovative technology, works closely with health systems across the United States to bolster ongoing communications to drive patient confidence and improve overall patient satisfaction.  With hundreds of patient interactions every day, PREMEDEX has deep experience that can help hospitals avoid the “R” word among their patient population.

 

Contact PREMEDEX today to learn more.

 

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