A patient-centered approach to reducing hospital readmissions

Reducing hospital readmissions within three months of discharge is a top strategic priority for hospitals. Yet, reducing readmissions is a substantial challenge for many organizations because it requires hospitals to extend resources and develop new relationships with caregivers far beyond a facility's campus.

"This challenge is further compounded by the large number of distinct drivers that can prompt a readmission," says Neil Smiley, CEO and founder of Loopback Analytics. These drivers range from poor care practices at a patient's chosen post-acute care facility to a patient's socio-economic status, which could prevent them from fully engaging in their care.

As hospitals explore strategies to reduce the occurrence and cost of readmissions, Mr. Smiley recommends hospital executives focus on identifying and tracking each patient's unique readmission risks. Using analytics tools and data-driven insights, hospitals can "continually identify the unique risks and challenges of the readmitting populations," make necessary care interventions and build proactive programs tailored to their populations unique needs, says Mr. Smiley.  

Metrics that reflect patients' unique readmission risk include medication adherence, behavioral health history, access to transport and other demographics that make it difficult to navigate the healthcare system.

By harnessing the right data on population-specific causes of readmission, hospitals can implement programs that improve population health and their bottom lines.

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