Keeping Patients Out of the Hospital

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imageThere is an increasing trend in healthcare of trying to keep patients out of the hospital. Many insurance companies are decreasing reimbursement to healthcare providers if they get readmissions for patients with the same issues. Many healthcare organizations are trying to tackle this issue in many ways. This includes taking a bigger focus on  preventative care, home care, and patient education.

Preventative Care

If you can stop a disease or illness before it starts then the patient will be much better off. Routine screenings for blood pressure issues and diabetes are important. Often if these disease processes are caught in their early stages then small changes in diet and lifestyle can reduce the severity of he disease. There are many screening that can detect cancer in it’s earlier stages and increase overall prognosis. These include prostate exams, mammograms, pap smears, and colonoscopy.

Home Care

If a patient has a disease process and needs a little more assistance than can be provided in the doctor’s office, and has a difficult time leaving their home, they may be an excellent candidate for home care. Many routine medical conditions can be treated and monitored in the home. Nurses can also draw labs and change wound dressings in the home. Often patients will order their medical supplies online, this can save their time and money and is needed for them to get well.

Patient Education

One of the best ways to keep patients out of the hospital is to provide patient education. Often healthcare professionals are so busy that we forget to take the time to make sure that patients are aware of all their medical conditions and what they can do improve their health. Taking time to give a patient good health guidelines is essential to keeping them out of the hospital and living a more fulfilled life.

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Comments

  1. says

    This is an important issue and a positive development. The increasing financial punishments for readmissions are convincing hospitals to make more of a contribution in thia area. One could arguably see the magnitude of such fines as a virtual budget for better outpatient care, discharge planning and preparation, and coordination of care. It’s rather heartening to see what hopefully will become an impetus for many improvements in health care.

    • says

      Greg,I admire your optimistic attitude….I think this is all one big disaster and when we start costs=effectiveness=huger salaries for the higher up’s……this is not health care…that is the business of healthcare….I had a patient,82,post-op for a huge osteosarcoma on her leg,they did same day surgery! Sent her home,she fell,and yep,you guessed it….this is all about money,and as a nurse,and also a patient….I don’t know about you…but I prefer to be spoken about as a patient,and not a sale,gain,stock option,etc…..

  2. says

    I am homecare nurse of 10 + year’s,I had 5 of my patients go into the hospital in 1 week. In all my year’s as a homehealth nurse,that has never happened….A. They are discharging patients way to soon B. I am not god,cannot do teaching in 1 visit,1-2x’s a week,which usually is all the visits allowed d/t C. either the insurance company’s authorization or how short staffed we are. D. if it is to good to be true,it is….

    • says

      Julie,

      I am honestly not sure how I feel about these reimbursement rules. I do know they exist and healtcare has to be proactive. As much as we may hate it, if the hospital does not make any money then they can’t pay the staff.

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