Integrating a patient’s family into the hospital discharge process may lead to a 25% reduction in readmissions within 90 days, according to new research. This extends to a 24% reduction in readmission within 180 days.
The study, published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society, examined 4,361 patients who were 70 years of age, on average.
However, the publications reviewed by the study highlighted a lack of consistency in the extent to which caregivers were involved in the discharge process. While some were provided with written care plans, medication reconciliation and instruction on using learning validation methods, others were directed to community resources.
“Due to medical advances, shorter hospital stays and the expansion of home care technology, caregivers are taking on considerable care responsibilities for patients,” said Juleen Rodakowski, one of the study’s lead authors.
“This includes increasingly complex treatment, such as wound care, managing medications and operating specialised medical equipment.”
“With proper training and support, caregivers are more likely to be able to fulfill these responsibilities and keep their loved ones from having to return to the hospital.”
With a growing and ageing population, demand on Australia’s hospitals is increasing. Integrated, whole of health strategies are essential in supporting patient flow and providing patients with efficient and timely care.
The Whole of Health Strategies to Improve Patient Flow conference, taking place in Melbourne this May, will provide strategies for hospitals to improve flow and patient centred care through interagency collaboration and communication with the entire health care service. Book soon to secure early bird rates.