Complex case conferences associated with reduced hospital admissions for high-risk patients with multiple comorbidities.
Perm J. 2014;18(1):38-42
Authors: Tuso P, Watson HL, Garofalo-Wright L, Lindsay G, Jackson A, Taitano M, Koyama S, Kanter M
OBJECTIVES: Reducing avoidable hospital readmissions presents an opportunity to improve health care quality and reduce avoidable costs. We studied the effect person-focused care may have on reducing avoidable admissions to the hospital.
METHODS: Among patients with heart failure discharged from the hospital, we evaluated the effect on 30-day readmissions of transitions-in-care interventions: home health visits, follow-up phone calls, and physician office visits. We also used a standardized diagnostic tool to interview readmitted patients to identify social reasons that may have contributed to the readmission. Finally, we used the learnings from both interventions to develop a new intervention: a single complex disease case conference that included the entire health care team. We measured hospital admissions for 21 patients during the 6 months before and after their complex case conferences.
RESULTS: Observed-over-expected hospital readmission rates were lowest for patients receiving a postdischarge visit with a home health nurse and a follow-up visit with their physician (0.54), compared with solely a physician visit (0.81), home health visit (1.2), or phone call (1.55). Various social issues may contribute to hospital readmissions, including caregiver knowledge, ability to care for oneself at home, and issues related to medications (adherence, ability to pay, and knowledge about potential side effects). Substantially fewer hospital admissions occurred after complex case conferences.
CONCLUSIONS: Complex case conferences with disease-focused and person-focused interventions may be associated with reduced hospital admissions for patients with heart failure and multiple comorbidities.
PMID: 24626071 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]