Try These Tools to Reduce Hospital Readmissions
It’s a return visit nobody wants to make. But hospital readmission is an all-too-frequent outcome following a major surgery, injury or illness. In this blog, we’ll cover the reasons for avoidable hospital readmission and give you our best advice on making sure you recover well.
What Are the Major Causes of Hospital Readmission?
According to analysis of data from the past two decades, hospital readmission rates for older adults range between 15-20% in the first 30 days. Additionally, up to 34% of Medicare patients were readmitted to the hospital within 90 days.
Readmission rates were highest for those with “heart failure, psychoses, recent vascular surgery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia.” And when you compare rates between seniors and other adults, readmissions for seniors were between 2 and 4 times more frequent.
But why do people return to the hospital? Most cases can be attributed to two simple reasons. Sometimes, the patient wasn’t ready to leave the hospital and was discharged before their medical issues were fully cleared. But most often, readmissions are caused by poor post-care and risky behaviors after discharge.
Four Ways to Prevent Readmission
What’s the best way to make sure your first discharge from the hospital will stick? Listen to your doctor and other medical professionals – and try this advice:
- Keep in touch. Seeing a doctor for a follow-up appointment – or even getting a phone call from a nurse or pharmacist – makes you much less likely to go back to the hospital. According to this study on congestive heart failure patients, the first 7 days after discharge are most important for preventing readmission. Hospital readmission reduction programs are becoming more common to help patients and doctors stay in touch.
- Take a load off. Feeling better isn’t a green light to jump headfirst into your usual daily routine. Overexertion and stress play a significant role in your ability to continue recovering. So don’t just become a bump on a log – but take it easy!
- Ask “why”? The more you know about your post-discharge care plan, the more proactive you can be. So be sure to get all the facts. This isn’t a time to be passive – engaged patients get better results.
- Follow the doctor’s advice. If your health care provider gives you at-home rehab exercises to do or medications to take, don’t miss them. Doing your part in post-discharge care is crucial. After all, their care plan can’t work if you don’t do it.
How Rehabilitation Helps
Recovery is easier when you have a talented caregiving team that lets you focus on feeling better. That’s where a stay at a rehabilitation center can help. Team members will surround you with support in a comforting, rest-oriented environment and will help design a custom care plan for your unique needs. And delicious, healthful dining, activity offerings and modern conveniences make each day a little more enjoyable.
You’ll find all of that and more at Auburn Rehabilitation & Health Care. When you or your loved one need a place to recover after leaving the hospital, you can lean on us. Contact us today to learn more: 217-438-6125.