Patient care in addled state
PATIENTS are being discharged from hospital so confused about their medication and unprepared and unsupported in managing their own recovery that hundreds of thousands of them end up being readmitted.
And the problem is costing taxpayers and health funds hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
A Medibank survey of 1500 Australians has found only half those discharged from hospital got a written plan about managing their posthospital care, nearly one in five said they were not informed about when to take their medicine and only half said they were comfortable managing their own care.
Medibank says 6000 of its members have unplanned readmissions to hospital every year, costing the fund $ 42 million.
A Victorian Government study in 2010- 11 found more than 103,000 patients were readmitted to public hospitals in Victoria within 30 days of discharge in 12 months.
The Victorian report found readmissions were taking up about 1648 public beds a year and costing the system about $ 431 million.
Medibank GP Dr Ian Boyd says the survey shows the need for more planning and co- ordi-
We’re working with hospitals to see if we can do something better
DR IAN BOYD
nation in after hospital care. “Medibank is developing an after care hospital program, Care Transition, in partnership with a number of major hospitals in Sydney, which we believe will give people the confidence to better manage their own post hospital care and recovery,” he said.
“Sometimes people can’t physically get in to see their GP because they are unwell or they can’t get an appointment with their GP after being discharged,” he said.
“We’re working with hospitals to see if we can do something better.”
The survey comes as Medibank is involved in a dispute with a major private hospital chain in Canberra over a new contract in which it will not pay for a range of readmissions that take place within 28 days of a patient being discharged.
The Calvary private hospital group in the ACT is refusing to sign the contract. THEY stepped out in style at Townsville Grammar School’s formal last night, with Year 12 students finishing out their school holidays with a bang.
The glamorous evening marked the start of the Townsville formal season, with the school traditionally the first in the city to hold their Year 12 celebration.
The school’s 167 senior students celebrated their big night with flair – with sequins, lace and bold colours all among the fashion choices.
While many students went down the traditional route with fancy cars, one couple arrived at Jupiters Townsville in a tractor.
There’s no time to recover from a late night of dancing, though, with the teens back to school today for the first day of Term 3.
Most other schools are likely to hold their formals in November.