Sunday, December 18, 2011
The Cost of Re-Hospitalizations
When it comes to preventing hospital readmission's, no one wants that more for the patient (or family) than PULSE, a grassroots patient safety organization. Not only because of the cost to health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid but because of the cost to the economy and risks for the patient’s safety for a number of reasons .
Hospitals, as we already know are dangerous places. There are high infection rates, possibility of patient mix-ups and risk of falls. But what about the additional lost work time for the family because of a hospital readmission or what congress is calling a re-hospitalization? There is additional time for replacement of staff, payment of sick time, and of course using Family Medical Leave when a family member has the right to be with the patient or take care of things at home. Getting out of the hospital is important for patient safety reasons. So how do we get the patient home and to stay home which we all know is the best place for the patient?
As a patient safety educator in the community for over 15 years, I am confident that the public wants their family home too. Given the tools to help with patient compliance, understanding discharge instructions and safe medication use are all important areas patients and families can play a role in reducing re-hospitalizations. This is not something we need to “work on” this is something we have done since 2006 with Family Centered Patient Advocacy Training”. Our next training is February 7 at 6:00 PM.