Managing a patient’s transition from health facility to home can have great benefits for all. CMS provides reimbursement incentives. Patients get better. Patient satisfaction levels soar. The cost of care decreases. Patients have a better and healthier life.
Transitional Care: Promise vs Reality
The reality of what happens when patients are discharged can be a nightmare for caregivers. Though caregivers are rewarded when patients get better, follow up can be difficult. When responsibility is left to the patient, lack of follow up on their part becomes a problem for the facility. It’s clear that caregivers and patients alike struggle with how to administer better care. If you were to ask patients if they want better health, they will certainly say yes. But patient behavior and the outcomes paint a different picture. In fact:
- 36% of patients fail to follow post discharge instructions for health monitoring, labs, medications or other needed care
- 1 in 5 Medicare patients are readmitted within 30 days of discharge
- When readmissions occur, the facility bears a financial penalty
- Patients don’t get better; in fact they can get much worse.
Transitional Care CAN Be Managed Effectively
Studies have shown that if proper care is followed, 75% of all readmissions are avoidable. However, to have a successful program, facilities either have to add scale and capacity for following up with patients (which is expensive and time consuming) or must find ways to do things differently.
Chuck Hayes, VP of Product Management at West Corporation, recently had an article published in Health Intelligence Network. In the article, he discusses
- The increasingly complex nature of transitional care and why it’s an important area of focus for healthcare organizations
- A way for facilities to improve patient communication during transitions to reduce readmissions
- How technology can play a role to make this communication both more efficient and effective for providers without adding staff
The link to the article can be found here