Study: Wide Variation in Implementation of Strategies to Reduce Readmissions

Research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests there is wide variation in hospitals implementing effective strategies to reduce hospital readmissions.


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For the study, researchers administered an online survey to 537 hospitals participating in the Hospital to Home quality improvement project to determine how hospitals implement quality improvement resources and performance monitoring, medication management efforts and discharge and follow-up processes.

The results of the feedback show almost all (90 percent) of hospitals indicated they had a written objective to reduce preventable hospital readmissions for patients with heart failure or acute myocardial infarction. However, hospitals have much-less frequently implemented strategies to meet that objective. For example, while hospitals have created teams to target readmissions for patients with heart failure 87 percent of the time, hospitals have done the same for patients with AMI only 54 percent of the time.

In addition, less than half of hospitals have partnered with local physicians and less than one-quarter of hospitals have partnered with other local hospitals to coordinate care for high-risk patients. Less than one-third of hospitals linked inpatient and outpatient prescription records or always directly sent discharge summaries to the patient's primary physicians.

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