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Reducing 30-day Readmissions, Simply

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, June 25, 2012

In April, I took a look at how readmission rates could be reduced using predictive modeling tools, an approach that's garnering great success at several hospitals. Although not every hospital has the wherewithal to invest in more technology needed to achieve results, care coordination is proving to be an effective tool for readmission rate reductions. (To learn more about tools for achieving 30-day readmission rate reduction in cardiac conditions and pneumonia, tune in to this webcast.)

McKay-Dee Hospital is a 352-bed, private, nonprofit hospital and part of Intermountain Healthcare's system of hospitals. It has built centers of excellence in the areas of heart and vascular, newborn ICU, cancer, spine, emergency and trauma services, and rehabilitation. And it also happens to have one of the lowest readmission rates in the nation—7.8% for pneumonia, nearly half of what it was two years ago.

Patients admitted to this hospital are some of the least likely to be readmitted within 30-days, thanks to a care coordination program launched in 2009. It not only improved the overall wellness of high-risk patients, but it also reduced readmission rates, particularly for pneumonia patients.

"Intermountain uses evidence-based care, and we use clinical best practices across the continuum of care to promote standardization" explains Timothy Trask, MD, medical director of the hospitalist program at McKay-Dee Hospital. Trask says the care coordination program extends to all areas of care, not just pneumonia.

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