Four Ways Hospitals can Reduce Hospital Readmissions and Save Costs

Reducing readmissions is still a challenge in the healthcare industry and this is clear from the $18 billion Medicare has to spend every year on readmissions which can be ‘avoided’.
Avoidable hospital readmissions are not just hard on the patient, but also on hospital staff. A patient who is discharged home but has to leave again for a process that was not needed in the first place becomes frustrated. It is also difficult for the medical staff who need to dedicate their time and effort when they could have better utilized than on caring for patients who truly needed them. Most avoidable hospital readmissions happen because of miscommunication or a gap in communication when the patient is transitioning from hospital to home.
Therefore, it is necessary for the patients to follow up with their care doctors and staff within the first week of discharge to avoid rehospitalization. High-risk patients who did that have lower readmission rates than those who did not follow up with their primary care physician (PCP) – even when both groups have similar LACE index scores (LACE index highlights patients who are at risk of readmission within 30 days of discharge).

Reduce hospital readmissions by half

It is critical for patients and care teams to have clear communication and understanding of the needs and expectations after a discharge. Uncoordinated care and miscommunication can be huge barriers in a patient’s journey to improved health. PCP’s follow-up after discharge is an incredibly important way to bring all parts of the care process together. It allows the PCP to connect the missing pieces and identify any potential health issues which are easily overlooked otherwise. Similarly, following up with the PCP allows the patient to know who he has to turn to if there is a problem. This is one of the four strategies that help reduce readmissions. Let’s talk about three more.

Using Patient Data to the Fullest

Hospitals can be successful at reducing readmissions if they collect patient data and really take a closer look at it. Sure, this sensitive data has to be protected but it is also a critical tool that should be shared with care teams in the hospitals to understand the patient’s history and health trends. Hospitals can look at readmissions from various data points, for example, from the perspective of age, discharge type, diagnosis, physician, payer, health history, etc. This way they can get to the root cause of readmissions quickly and fix that.

Understanding from a Human Perspective

Once the data has been thoroughly analyzed and the root cause has been identified, it makes sense for the hospitals to make a person-to-person connection with the patient to really understand what is happening post-discharge. PCPs can talk to patients themselves to find out the details. This kind of real-life insight can be gathered through active discussion and is less likely to be found through chart reviews and what is written in the reports. Contacting the patients on time after they have left the hospital is necessary to understand the total picture and take precautions for potential risks.

Using Technology for Better Patient Care

Hospitals and staff are using a myriad of technologies for effective patient care. They are using notification systems, tracking systems, developing performance measurement dashboards, and multiple other tools to understand and reduce readmissions and to drive high levels of performance. What if we told you that all of these amazing tools can be combined in one communication app that is built for the healthcare industry? Hucu.ai is a free HIPAA-compliant communication app that has proven to reduce communication gaps and significantly influenced the number of readmissions in hospitals and nursing homes.

Hucu.ai Solves All Communication Problems in Healthcare

How does it work?

Hucu.ai can bring in all staff members, PCPs, and transition care teams in one place virtually. Using ‘channels’ for a specific patient, care team members can discuss important points about the patient in real-time so that everyone is on the same page and updated about the patient’s status. As the patient gets discharged, live updates can be shared so that quick actions can be taken by the care team members in case of emergencies at home. When teams are able to share and diagnose a problem in real-time remotely, the issue can be resolved at home and thus reduce the chance of unnecessary readmission. This can save the patient from the hassle and the hospital from added costs associated with the readmissions.
Through Hucu.ai, it is easy to include patient/family in planning for patient’s admissions and discharge plans whether hospital, SNF, AL, IL, or their homes. Hucu.a helps to:
  • Simplify transitions by bringing in discharge & admissions staff in both organizations.
  • Eliminate surprises by sharing up-to-the-minute transition plans.
  • Speed up patient-centered communication between different organizations with easily simplified secure messaging.
  • Replace 5 old silo communication tools (fax, email, text, phone, voicemail, etc.) with one powerful tool – hucu.ai.
  • Make availability easy by showing custom user statuses, with simple one-touch status updates – available, busy, and away along with reading receipts.
  • Coordinate care seamlessly by updating staff on medication, dme, ppe, nutrition or other interventions.
Hucu.ai is the answer to all communication problems in healthcare. Hospitals can build a seamless care process facilitated by Hucu.ai. It is easy to install and can be implemented and ready to use within 10 minutes. You can schedule a quick demo for free by contacting us.
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