Tele­phone Talks with Nurse Can Re­duce Hospi­tal Re-ad­mis­sions

Wellness Update - - Meet Our Doctors -

Weekly tele­phone con­tact with a nurse sub­stan­tially re­duced hospi­tal read­mis­sions for high-risk pa­tients, ac­cord­ing to re­sults of a Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin School of Medicine and Pub­lic Health study. The find­ings, pub­lished in the De­cem­ber is­sue of Health Af­fairs, also de­ter­mined that health care costs were de­creased by ap­prox­i­mately $1,225 for each pa­tient en­rolled in the pro­gram, when com­pared to sim­i­lar pa­tients who were not en­rolled. The study mea­sured the ef­fi­cacy of Co­or­di­nated Tran­si­tional Care (C-TraC), a pro­gram used by 605 pa­tients dis­charged over an 18-month pe­riod from the Wil­liam S. Mid­dle­ton Me­mo­rial Veter­ans Hospi­tal. High-risk pa­tients were de­fined in one of three cat­e­gories: hav­ing de­men­tia or some other im­pair­ment in me­mory, over 65 years old and liv­ing alone, or over 65 years old with a pre­vi­ous hos­pi­tal­iza­tion in the last year. Pa­tients in the pro­gram were onethird less likely to be read­mit­ted than sim­i­lar pa­tients who were not in the pro­gram. Ac­cord­ing to Dr. Amy Kind, lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor and as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of medicine (ge­ri­atrics) at the UW School of Medicine and Pub­lic Health, pa­tients in C-TraC were phoned by a nurse case man­ager 48 to 72 hours af­ter dis­charge. The nurse met with each pa­tient be­fore dis­charge to make ar­range­ments for the phone calls and with each pa­tient’s hospi­tal providers to help en­sure that the pa­tient’s tran­si­tion home was as smooth as pos­si­ble.

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