Healthcare News & Insights

How better communication reduces patient bouncebacks

Could patient bouncebacks be reduced simply with better discharge planning? At least one organization thinks so. IPC The Hospitalist Company said its doctors have reduced readmission rates with an interdisciplinary team approach that emphasizes improved communication among workers. Some of the techniques include:

• When patients are admitted, hospitalists enter patient data into a system that uses automatic reminders to ensure certain procedures are followed, for example that certain prescriptions are issued. As the patient is prepped for discharge, the physician will also get a pop-up reminder that the patient needs to be discharged with that prescription.

• Hospitalists have regular meetings with nurse practitioners, nursing team leaders, case managers, and social workers to discuss every patient in the unit and any issues they need to focus on before discharge.

• Members of the care team may also go to a patient’s room to jointly exchange information with patients and their families to discuss discharge plans and follow-up care.

• Within 48 to 72 hours of discharge, patients are contacted by the system to ensure they aren’t experiencing any unexpected symptoms, that they have the medications and home health equipment they need, and that any required follow-up appointments are made.


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