Top Tips for Preventing Hospital Readmission

How Nurses Can Help Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Reducing hospital readmissions is not only better for your patients’ health—it can also prevent your healthcare facility from facing financial penalties. Fortunately, there are many ways nurses can help reduce hospital readmissions. Read on to learn how to better assist your patients with our tips!

Key Strategies for Preventing Hospital Readmission

Assess Physical Function & SDOH Barriers

Assessing patients’ physical function thoroughly before discharging patients is the first step in preventing hospital readmission. After a proper assessment, you’ll be entirely sure that your patients are ready to leave the facility.

Additionally, you must account for potential social determinants of health (SDOH) barriers before discharging patients from the hospital. SDOH barriers, such as transportation access or housing instability, are common causes for hospital readmission. Understand your patients’ living situations and needs and make a comprehensive plan tailored to patients’ risks before discharging them.

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Educate Your Patients

Patient education also goes a long way in reducing readmission. It is essential to make sure patients understand their conditions, know how to communicate their needs, and are informed on future health precautions and needed treatment. This education should start while the patient is hospitalized and continue throughout their treatment and beyond.

Plan for Post-Acute Care and Rehabilitation

Finally, successful and thorough transitions of care are critical in reducing readmission. Patients having access to comprehensive rehabilitation services promptly and consistently after being discharged is also integral to reducing readmission.

When implementing post-acute care (PAC) and rehabilitation strategies, make sure all of your patient’s care team are informed on the patient’s needs, risks, medication safety, and any other information needed to keep your patient safe and healthy. Communication between the PAC provider and the initial provider is vital for PAC success and hospital readmission prevention.

Consider Telehealth Services

Monitoring and manipulating patient data in a streamlined way, such as with a telehealth service, can help keep track of patients’ health and progress and alert you of any issues before readmission becomes necessary.

Communication with patients is key to reducing readmission, which is another reason why telehealth or other encrypted and secure communication services can help open lines of communication and maintain consistency in provider-patient communication. Choose a system that works for your facility’s and patients’ needs. Think about your patients’ age, abilities, and access to technology when choosing a telehealth or communication platform.

Implementing Strategies

While each of these tips can help reduce hospital readmission in your patients, implementing several readmission reduction strategies in conjunction further increases your success. When used together, your facility will see a lower frequency of readmission than just implementing one strategy at a time.

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Understanding the leading causes of hospital readmission and educating yourself on successful strategies for preventing readmission are critical in providing your patients with the best care possible. Care doesn’t end when your patient is discharged, and ensuring your patients’ long-term health and safety are paramount to being an effective healthcare provider.

To continue your understanding and education on best practices for decreasing hospital readmission, register for one of our courses or one of our self-paced webinars today!

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