3 Questions to Ask When Developing Post-Discharge Follow-Up Call Program

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Hospitals developing a post-discharge follow-up phone call program to prevent readmissions need to address three questions, according to a study in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

Researchers conducted a literature review of the use of telephone follow-up to improve post-discharge processes and reduce avoidable readmissions. They identified three key decisions hospital leaders need to make when developing a follow-up call program:


1. Who should initiate the telephone follow-up call?
The authors suggest hospital leaders consider the caller's clinical content expertise and knowledge of the patient's condition and history, among other factors.

2. What should be done during a telephone follow-up call?
Provider teams need to define the goals of the follow-up call and identify patient information needed to reach these goals, according to the study. A standardized sheet can ensure callers attain this information for each patient.

3. What is the optimal timing, frequency and duration of telephone follow-up calls? The timing, frequency and duration will depend on the patient population, the standardized assessment or telephone script used and patient need, according to the study.

More Articles on Hospital Readmissions:

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San Francisco Hospitals Reduce Readmissions by 11%, Save $32M

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