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'Readmissions Week' Recap

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, February 14, 2013

Specifically, the thinking may be that now is the time for hospitals to start measuring readmission rates for all conditions, lest hospitals not get into a habit of ignoring discharge planning for patients with conditions not yet targeted with financial consequences.

I'm also sensing a heightened push on the part of discharge planners and physicians to make sure their patients know what's at stake, and to impress upon them their responsibility to pay attention and follow instructions. 

For example, because we know patients may forget how they're supposed to take care of themselves after they leave the hospital, some organizations are filming the entire discharge instruction process, and enabling patients  to access it when they get home, either through a private portal on the internet or through their own personal iPhone video

Initiatives, such as the "Good to Go" program at Cullman Regional Medical Center in Cullman, AL, are even giving patients mobile devices and developing video portals so patients can review recordings of what they were told about their post-hospital care after their discharge.

So perhaps the rush, or the panic, is in full bore.

In any case, we now have a number of projects that parse readmissions prevention efforts so that programs put the lion's share of resources into areas promising to produce the best reductions.

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