Care upon discharge: Helping hospitals make informed decisions

When transitioning patients from the hospital to post-acute care settings, hospital-based teams have an enormous task to ensure that patients continue to receive the most optimal care.

A safe transition as well as ongoing efficient care benefits the patient first and foremost by leading to a better recovery and quicker return to the community. In turn, decreased hospital readmission rates and lower healthcare costs per patient episode can translate to improved finances for hospitals by increasing cost savings through the bundled payment model and reducing readmission penalties. For hospital-based teams, making well-informed decisions regarding the post-acute care setting is crucial and can lead to the development of a preferred provider network that delivers consistent high-quality outcomes.

Getting Key Information at the Point of Care

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services currently has a rating system in place for home health care agencies and skilled nursing facilities. While this rating system includes important measures that reflect timeliness and quality of care, it is limited in its utility as the scores are not based on real-time data and may already be outdated by the time they’re made available to hospitals and the public. Making post-acute care decisions based on months-old ratings can be detrimental to patient outcomes as they do not reflect the post-acute care providers’ current standards and efficiencies.

One key data point that hospital-based teams need to know in order to make informed decisions is the responsiveness of post-acute care providers during the discharge and transition stage. Skilled nursing facilities and home health care providers that answer referrals more efficiently can prevent delays in care transitions and improve patient throughout. But what’s the best way to get this information?

Enter enTouch, a healthcare network that offers a myriad of advantages to all stakeholders including hospitals, home health providers, skilled nursing facilities, and physicians.

• By tracking and producing real-time data based on actual communication to and from post-acute care providers, enTouch ensures that hospitals and administrators on its network have access to and can leverage on the most current information on post-acute care providers’ responsiveness to patient referrals.

• The enTouch network allows skilled nursing facilities and home health providers to see how well they are doing compared to their competitors, which in turn can incentivize these providers to improve their response times and efficiency.

• As enTouch is a community between hospitals and post-acute care providers, it makes it possible for skilled nursing facilities and home health providers to increase awareness about their organization’s benefits and better their chances of being selected as a hospital’s preferred provider.

About Tim Coulter
Tim has spent the last 16 years leading teams to bring new, innovative products to hundreds of hospital system customers across the country. Most recently, he served in leadership positions at Medicity including in Sales & Marketing, Client Delivery and Finance.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Becker's Hospital Review/Becker's Healthcare. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

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