Smooth Transition: Reducing Senior Readmissions to Hospitals

March 1, 2014
115 Views

Lack of proper after care from a recent bout of illness is one of the chief causes to blame for senior readmissions to hospitals. Senior care industry professionals identify various problems encountered during the transition-at-home phase and offer solutions to bridge the gaps.

Lack of proper after care from a recent bout of illness is one of the chief causes to blame for senior readmissions to hospitals. Senior care industry professionals identify various problems encountered during the transition-at-home phase and offer solutions to bridge the gaps.

An increasing number of patients, especially seniors, discharged from hospitals are finding their way back early. Healthcare costs thus increasing, Medicare announced that hospitals with high rates of readmissions would be penalized.

30 day readmission

Health care data alarmingly showed that one out of every five patients discharged from hospital makes his way back within a month and of all the patients discharged about 34% are expected to be back within 90 days. Most of these readmissions were of the elderly patients.

Most of these readmissions are preventable.

As most hospitals today offer acute-care facilities, often the causes leading to readmission are found to be unrelated to the health service provided.

Most cases are found in the transition phase and finding a solution for the problem isn’t practically as straight forward as it may seem!

What is the Truth behind Increasing Readmissions of Elderly?

What has been bothering health care professionals is to come up a plausible answer as to why there were a large number of readmissions in the elderly group?

At first view, it may be assumed that the existing medical treatment standards that normally work for other patients are not working for seniors. The reality, however, is that hospitals are trying out numerous ways and employing a variety of practices, only to reduce chances of readmission.

It was noticed that one major reason for elderly readmissions was that there was not enough support available at home after a senior was discharged from hospital.

Cost of Senior Living

One would expect the immediate family to ensure a comfortable transition at home, help the elderly to settle into the prescribed medication regime, call in on time at the hospital for the next appointment. But adult children, often leading very busy lives themselves, may not be able to give the time needed for a good recovery.

Where most patients, especially young people and adults, have their age-groups helping them rehabilitate, older people hardly get the kind of company and environment that they require to recover. The problem could be compounded if their spouses are either deceased or need assistance themselves.

So, What is the Way Out?

Seniors need someone dedicated enough to take regular care of them, not only during discharge, but also at home and through the recovery process, which could last weeks at a stretch. Seniors need a constant; someone, who is committed to walking through the recovery process with them. Such specialized care is what transition care experts are providing elderly patients.

Transition Coaching – Introduction and How it works?

Thankfully, transition coaching, a service that has recently emerged, is now helping senior patients to recover more quickly and effectively. Transition coaches are trained experts who take the responsibility of walking senior patients home from the hospital and look after them at home until they fully recover.

Senior care service

Basically, the coach motivates the patients to play a proactive role in recovery in an effort to reduce the risk of readmissions. Besides keeping records of medication and follow up appointments, the transition expert also helps patients to communicating better with other patients, hospital staff and family members as well.

What Does Smooth Transition Care Aim At?

After being discharged from hospital and on arriving home, elderly patients cannot settle into the prescribed medication regime without help or reminding from others and often appointments with their doctor are missed out. New prescriptions may not be timely filled and old prescriptions are not thrown out creating confusion with medication and contributing to readmissions.

A transition expert’s attentiveness to the needs of the elderly can prevent all this from happening, improve a patient’s quality of life and reduce the possibility of a readmission.

A trained coach understands the significance of smooth transition care for senior patients, offers them the best possible level of care, maintains personal health and improvement records and more importantly, encourages the patient to play a proactive part in the recovery process. The service has helped to reduce readmissions among the seniors.

You may be interested

Why Universal Healthcare is the Key to a Healthier and More Productive Society
Health care
339 views
Health care
339 views

Why Universal Healthcare is the Key to a Healthier and More Productive Society

Helen Heather - August 23, 2017

The United States remains the only country in the world without a universal healthcare system. Many critics have stated that…

Care On The Road: How Telemedicine Can Reach Truck Drivers
Mobile Health
13 views
Mobile Health
13 views

Care On The Road: How Telemedicine Can Reach Truck Drivers

Larry Alton - August 21, 2017

Telemedicine is considered a powerful tool for individuals living in rural areas, far from adequate services or in need of…

Where Is The Balance? Pushing Back Against Consumer Health Tech
eHealth
3 views
eHealth
3 views

Where Is The Balance? Pushing Back Against Consumer Health Tech

Larry Alton - August 18, 2017

When Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz glibly remarked that Americans struggling to afford insurance should choose between that and their smartphones,…