Tips to Prevent Hospital Readmission
Following these tips to prevent hospital readmission could save you time, money and health. Hospitals can be the best place to be when you need to restore your health; however, you don’t want to live life in the hospital.
Hospital Readmission is Bad: These Tips Can Prevent You From Going Back
Readmissions are when you return to the hospital within 30 days of leaving; although, it must be with the same chief complaint that initially put you in the hospital. In the United States, about 20% of hospital patients go back to the hospital within 30 days of discharge.
Aside from the cost, the health risks can be potentially dangerous.
When you return to the hospital:
- You’re exposing yourself to a variety of potentially harmful infections
- Medical errors are more likely to occur
- Not to mention other issues like the overall deconditioning of your body
For patients, the beginning of a successful transition starts in the hospital. Transitional care, when done the right way, will reduce hospital readmissions within 30 days to high as 48%!
Important Tips to Prevent Hospital Readmission
The thing is, many readmissions are avoidable. A major issue in our health care system is unnecessary readmissions to the hospital.
Use the following suggestions to help you substantially decrease your chance of hospital readmissions:
- Speak with the hospital’s discharge planner. Prior to your release date, have a family member or your caregiver around for this conversation.
- Talk to your doctors and nurses. Ask about the conditions of your health and what you might action you can take in getting better.
- Make sure you fully understand every part of your care plan written and verbal. If you don’t, ask questions until you feel confident to maintain your health at home.
Important things to ask:
- Problems or concerns you may have
- Symptoms and side effects to be aware of
- A backup plan if you should experience side effects/symptoms
- Get a phone number/name you can call if you become concerned
- Get a hard copy of your plan of care
You’ll have follow-up instructions on recovering. Typically, you’ll get verbal instructions for your care, you should also receive a written plan of care. When a patient or caregiver doesn’t understand the instructions, there’s a higher chance you’ll be back in the hospital.
Choose a Quality Healthcare Provider
To help with self-care whether basic or more intensive at home. Providers could be either a home health agency or visiting nurse or family caregiver. Make sure you have a phone number for whatever agency or person you decide to use.
Ask About Medical Equipment
You might need a walker for instance or oxygen once you leave from the hospital. To prevent hospital readmission, make sure you prepare for self-care at home.
If this is the case before you leave:
- Your doctor should give you a written order or proper documentation for any medical equipment you’ll be needing.
- Make sure to get the supplier’s name and phone number for your equipment
- You or your caregiver should have a clear understanding of how to use any equipment; including how long you will need it for and what to do if problems arise
Speak to your health insurance plan
Ask about your coverage and what you’ll be responsible to pay out-of-pocket. If you need extra help with costs, see what options you have got it. Hospital social workers should be able to help with any insurance situations.
Make an appointment with your primary doctor
Before leaving the hospital, make this appointment; and make sure to go to it! This will be a key factor in avoiding readmission. Patients are less likely for readmission when they follow-up with a doctor within 7 days of discharge.
Plan to Need a Caregiver
Many need help managing at home after the hospital, consider using a home health program. Even if you only need home health care for a couple of days; it can make all the difference in your recovery process and decrease your chances of readmission.
Telemedicine Could Prevent Hospital Readmission
There are new options available to provide you with clinical services without having to do an in-person doctors’ visit. Telehealth and Telemedicine are new technological advances that allow patients to handle some of their healthcare needs remotely.
Telemedicine: Strictly remote clinical services such as follow-up doctors’ visits, managing chronic conditions, medication management, consultations. A variety of clinical services through a remote secure video and audio connection.
Telehealth: Wider range of remote healthcare services than telemedicine. These also include remote non-clinical services like training for providers, administrative meetings, as well as continuing medical education.
Basically, telemedicine is a great new option for a patient to stay on top of healthcare needs!. This option makes it easier to prevent hospital readmissions and makes doctors’ more convenient.
Meanwhile, telehealth can be used for clinical services but is also beneficial for healthcare providers as well. Telehealth helps providers improve efficiency in the office, and have better patient follow-throughs.
Get Help Paying for the Cost of Hospital Readmission
Being proactive and having the tools you need will help you prevent readmission. Using the tips, you should decrease your chance of returning to the hospital. Avoid unnecessary visits to the hospital and focus on your recovery.
Hospital expenses can be a real burden; however, they don’t have to be financially draining. Medigap policies fill the gaps in Medicare; this leaves you with little to no out of pocket costs.
Call a broker at the number above to discuss plan options. Or, fill out an online rate form and get proper insurance.