Reducing Readmissions by Improving Clinical Communications – Part Four

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Often, a patient is readmitted because they didn’t follow the correct medication regimen, lacked understanding of the treatment plan, or failed to follow up with their primary care physician after discharge.

Post-Discharge Patient Education

Ideally, patients receive thorough education about medication regimens and treatment plans throughout their stay and at the time of discharge. However, literacy and comprehension rates vary across patient populations, and patients don’t always understand written or verbal discharge instructions.

Additionally, at the time of discharge, patients are often preoccupied with the logistics and excitement of going home. Attempts at patient education might not be well received, no matter how well delivered. Once patients have arrived at home, the complexity of managing their new medications and daily routines on their own becomes much more apparent.

Several studies have found that other factors, including the patient’s social support network, marital status, gender, and income can affect a patient’s ability to follow discharge instructions and manage their care at home.

Whether it’s addressing a lack of comprehension regarding a patient’s treatment plan or addressing a lack of support in enacting that treatment plan, a post-discharge phone call can provide a way for hospitals to help patients stay well at home.

Continue to Part 5 of 6

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