In the first 30 days following discharge from the hospital, patients are at an especially high risk for readmission. As CMS continues to levy heavy penalties to hospitals for excessive readmission rates, reducing preventable readmissions is more important than ever. To effectively reduce readmissions, hospitals must actively seek out proven solutions to reach out to, and successfully engage with, each patient post-discharge.
Effective discharge plans
When patients are discharged from the hospital, it is critical that they understand important discharge instructions regarding medication information, wound care, symptom management, and the process for scheduling follow-up appointments. This understanding is futile, however, if patients are unable to recall instructions shortly after discharge.
Ensuring that patients remember and comply with their care plans throughout the recovery period requires proactive planning on the care provider’s end. Hospital staff must provide patients with comprehensible forms explaining discharge instructions and have an efficient system in place to follow up with patients after their release from the hospital.
Patient understanding of instructions
If patients do not understand their discharge instructions, they are more likely to return to the hospital for lack of compliance. CipherHealth’s discharge solution, Echo, addresses this issue by allowing care teams to record each patient’s discharge instructions for patients to easily play back remotely. Having access to recordings ensures that patients understand the necessary steps to stay on the path to wellness, reducing avoidable readmissions and putting patients in control of their own care.
Post-discharge follow-up calls
Proactive outreach is another proven method for identifying and preventing adverse events that might lead to readmissions. Digital follow up post-discharge gives patients the chance to express concerns with their recoveries and allows hospitals to resolve concerns in real time. When this occurs, not only do hospitals avoid readmissions, but they also build patient trust and satisfaction by demonstrating a commitment to patients’ long-term health.
To ensure your patients have the tools necessary to avoid readmission, hospitals must strategize to implement proven solutions that work for both the organization as a whole and the patients it serves. For more information on how we can help your organization reduce readmissions or to request a case study, contact us today.