Reducing heart failure hospital readmissions from skilled nursing facilities.
Prof Case Manag. 2011 Jan-Feb;16(1):18-24
Authors: Jacobs B
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:: Readmission rates for heart failure patients are a Center for Medicare & Medicaid and Joint Commission core measure. At this urban Midwestern medical center, the 6-month baseline skilled nursing facility (SNF) readmission rate was 30%. Nurse case management implemented a process to decrease the rate for this population. Follow-up phone calls were in place for patients discharged to home, but a gap remained in those discharged to SNFs. Nurse case management developed a follow-up phone call process within 48 hours of discharge to the registered nurse/licensed practical nurse in the SNFs to verify that: PRIMARY PRACTICE SETTING:: Acute inpatient care settings.Findings/conclusions: The phone calls resulted in improved continuity of care and clarification of discharge orders. The opportunity for question-and-answer time between the hospital and the SNF nurse provided just-in-time education; relationships have also been strengthened. Recent data show that the current readmission rate averages 11.32% (a decrease from 30%). This nurse case management-driven process of follow-up phone calls between the hospital and SNF staff to reduce readmission rates in heart failure patients resulted in improved continuity of care and clarification of discharge orders. IMPLICATIONS FOR CM PRACTICE:: This simple, innovative process allowed for improved continuity of care and partnerships between inpatient hospitalization and the SNF, thereby reduced transcription errors and improved patient health outcomes. Enhanced communication between providers allowed for a significant reduction in readmissions from SNFs to the hospital.
PMID: 21164330 [PubMed - in process]