1. Understand the Cause of Patient’s Return
Patients don’t like to revisit the hospital once they have been discharged. But if she or she returns then it is very important to understand the reason behind the return so that the patient is provided best care and treatment and hence, the process of readmission is prevented.
2. Provide Discharge Summaries ASAP
Many hospitals provide discharge summaries after almost 30 days of the discharge which is one of the chief reason that patients come back to the hospital for readmission. This is because once the patient goes home, he/she wants their summary in hand to check that how they were treated and what happened to them when they were hospitalized and that is what a summary usually consist of. Your patient is likely to revisit the hospital because they have some questions popping in their mind and they don’t have their discharge summary to clear their minds out. Which is why you should hand over the discharge summary to the patient within 24 hours of the discharge.
3. Train Staff Empathy and Communication Skills
Everyone in the staff needs to get trained about the empathy and communication skills that could help in reducing the rate of readmission at your hospital. Doesn’t matter if the staff member is senior or junior, give training to everyone as it is a teamwork and all the employees should know the strategies and guidelines. If the communication with patients is improved, they would be motivated, empowered and encouraged before the discharge and their minds would be cleared with all the confusions.
4. Prescribe Medication for a Month at Discharge
Before discharging the patient make sure you prescribe him/her medicines for a whole month so that if the discharge summary takes time to get prepared, the patient doesn’t show up at the hospital again for new medicines.
5. Make a Schedule for Appointments Before Discharge
Set a meeting of the physician and staff members who were looking after a certain patient and come up with a schedule of appointments for the patients because some patients require further checkup after their treatment. So, in order to prevent them from revisiting the hospital anytime they want, a follow-up plan would be a great option. Also, clear all the questions of your patient at their time of appointment to reduce readmissions.
6. Provide Home Care Facility After Discharge
According to the researches, usually, the patients having chronic diseases are likely to revisit the hospital and readmit. So, the readmission of such chronically ill patients can be reduced by providing them with the facility of homecare. Make a team of one or two nurses and a physician, send them to the patient’s house after their discharge so that the team looks after the patient well and makes him/her and their family understand the patient’s condition well. This could be a great initiative when you are trying to reduce the readmission rate in your hospital.
Moreover, having proper PACS DICOM viewer and cloud is important to keep all the patient data at one place that can be accessed from any location. Most stellar PACS DICOM viewer and cloud services provide healthcare data storage. Look that up.