Hospital patients who receive high-quality discharge planning are less likely to be readmitted within 30 days, according to an AHRQ study that examined 2.1 million hospital patients in 16 states who were treated for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and total hip or joint replacement. According to the study, ideal discharge planning begins several days in advance, with the goal of ensuring that patients understand basic questions such as where they will go after discharge, what special care and medications they may need, whether they must restrict certain foods or activities, and what symptoms to monitor. The study found an increased likelihood that if readmissions did occur, most patients would return to the same hospital for continued treatment. Researchers used AHRQ’sHospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey data to measure the quality of hospitals’ discharge planning and AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Projectdata to study hospital readmissions. The study cited the cost of readmissions, indicating that Medicare spent $17.5 billion in 2012 on hospital readmissions that occurred within 30 days of discharge. “Discharge Planning and Hospital Readmissions” and abstract were published in Medical Care Research and Review. In addition, AHRQ has tools for hospitals and patients and families to help prevent avoidable readmissions.
Med Care Res Rev. 2016 May 4. pii: 1077558716647652. [Epub ahead of print]
Discharge Planning and Hospital Readmissions.
© The Author(s) 2016.
hospitalization; patient discharge; patient readmission; quality; same-hospital readmission