Recovery, not Readmission: What Hospitals Can Do to Prevent Rehospitalization Among Dialysis Patients

Posted by

Hospital hallwayMedicare dialysis patients register a 35% readmission rate, and it’s a far cry from the 15% average admission rate for the entire population. And it’s not just among Medicare patients. A study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reported that about one in four dialysis patients were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. Some of the patients were even readmitted three or more times. Because of the high rehospitalization rate, hospitals are urged to improve their services.

Holistic Approach, Intervention, and Risk Scores

In most cases, patients were brought back in because of problems apart from the one that hospitalized them in the first place. The authors noted, therefore, that hospitals must look at the patient and not just focus on the diagnosis during their admission. Moreover, they recommended interventions for patients who do not have access to a primary care physician. Validated risk scores that evaluate the risk factors of the dialysis patients could also help.

Increased Patient Engagement

Furthermore, hospitals need to engage with the patients more and give them all the information they might need. For instance, they could teach patients about the best practices when they are discharged from the medical center. Physicians could also check on them post-hospitalization. An extra doctor’s visit within a month after discharge could reduce their chances of being readmitted, too.

Hiring Case Managers

Case managers could also play a role in keeping the rate down because they focus on improving coordination and removing gaps that could lead to rehospitalization. Moreover, they keep track of the mandated discharge planning that could improve the patient’s well-being. And medical centers don’t have to worry about calling too early in the morning too. According to Case Management Innovations, a company that offers case management services, most tasks can be resolved remotely.

Not all readmission cases are avoidable. Hospitals, however, can do something about the preventable ones. By providing top-notch service and employing an excellent staff, they can make sure that their patients are on the road to full recovery.

Comments are closed.