The Value in Understanding Discharge Instructions

When nearly 90% of the population has difficulty reading, understanding, and acting upon medical information, it is no surprise that many patients are leaving the hospital overwhelmed and confused by their care plan instructions.

One of the most important pieces of a hospital stay is the discharge process. During this process patients become responsible for their care and are given instructions on how to get better, including scheduling follow-up appointments and taking medications. This information is critical to a patient’s outcome, yet it’s also extremely overwhelming for a patient to comprehend and remember. Not to mention most patients are distracted during this process, as they are eager to get out of the hospital and get home.

Altogether this leads to poor outcomes, unnecessary readmissions, and dissatisfied patients, which leads to higher penalties and lower reimbursements rates for hospitals. One way for hospitals to help patients better retain this information is to make a recording of the discharge instructions available at the patient’s convenience. By recording discharge instructions, care providers give patients the power to play back important information that improves their health.

Another way to improve outcomes is post-discharge follow up. This additional touch point helps identify patients who don’t understand their discharge instructions so that care providers can intervene before there is an issue. According to the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, “a follow-up phone call with carefully constructed questions to confirm an understanding of the discharge instructions would improve compliance and decrease readmission.”

With our CipherOutreach and Echo programs we have seen not only higher levels of care plan compliance and lower rates of readmissions, but also seen increases in patient satisfaction. By empowering patients and supporting them after discharge, patients feel more in control over their health, which leads to better outcomes.

For more information on CipherOutreach and how post-discharge follow up can help your patients, click HERE.

For more information on Echo and how recording discharge instructions improves outcomes, click HERE.

CipherHealth empowers providers across the care continuum to deliver enhanced patient experiences and communications through a modular, comprehensive patient engagement technology platform.