Below is an excerpt from the recently published whitepaper, “Every Patient Deserves Follow Up: How to Improve Care Transitions to Keep Patients Safe.” To access the full text, click here.
If patients do not feel safe, healthcare providers have been unsuccessful in their charge to “do no harm.” Since the patient experience extends beyond the care encounter to include the vulnerable post-discharge transition period, it is best practice for healthcare providers to engage patients with the information they need for optimal long-term recovery.
As patients are no longer under the 24/7 care of healthcare professionals after discharge, the challenge lies in empowering patients to manage their care plans while potentially facing underlying social issues that may impede optimal recovery. With less than 25% of patients reporting that they comprehend the instructions given to them at discharge, it is clear that care transitions can make the difference in positive or negative outcomes and experiences.
By leveraging technology such as automated outreach, providers are equipped to help all patients in their transition from one care setting to the next.
The Role of Patient Outreach
Patient outreach is the cornerstone of a comprehensive patient engagement strategy. Hospitals cannot afford to ignore the role that post-discharge follow up plays in their strategic plans. By proactively engaging with patients following discharge, providers can ensure safe care transitions — leading to improved patient outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, and decreased 30-day readmissions.
Challenges with Non-Automated Processes
Today’s healthcare organizations face the challenge of finding dedicated resources to manually reach out to all patients post-discharge. Even if there are dedicated resources, they may fall into one of the following traps:
- They may only be focusing on a small patient subset — typically those perceived to be the highest risk
- There is a lack of consistent outreach to every patient or patients only receive one call attempt
- Executive leaders do not have actionable data to drive systematic improvements
Although manual calls to patients may be seen as ideal, automation ensures organizations can reach all patients to avoid these common pitfalls. With automated outreach technology, healthcare organizations can scale personalized support to 100% of patients and do so multiple times throughout the 30-day window. To ensure patients stay on the path to recovery, it is critical for organizations to follow up with all patients during transitional periods.
To continue reading, click here to download the whitepaper.