You may be surprised to learn that as many as one in five patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge according to Consumer Reports. This can be for a variety of reasons, but a new program at Renown Health is focused on addressing post-hospital risk factors to keep you safe at home — and out of the hospital.
Being admitted to the hospital can often be a stressful time for patients and their loved ones. So when the hospital care team says you’re ready to go home, there’s a strong sense of relief. However, it’s important to remember that just because you’re going home, it doesn’t mean that you’re out of the woods.
“Often times, when a patient returns home from the hospital, they go back to the same environment, lifestyle or habits that led to their hospitalization in the first place,” explains Tanya Phares, DO, MPH at Renown Health.
Dr. Phares, along with a team of medical experts at Renown Health, plan to change this with a new Post-Hospital Follow-Up Program. The program is designed to help patients maintain their health after leaving the hospital. This is achieved through a personalized at-home care plan, a follow-up phone call and a post-hospital care visit. This gives patients the opportunity to ask questions after returning home, and helps ensure their home environment and lifestyle is structured in a way that will keep them healthy.
“The post-hospital care team is here to educate patients and their families about their medical diagnosis and risk factors,” Dr. Phares says. “The last thing we want to see is a patient being readmitted.”
Dr. Phares explains that the post-hospital follow-up visit is different than a standard visit with your primary care provider. At the appointment, care team members focus specifically on items related to your hospital stay, including:
- Managing new or modified medications
- Reviewing hospital test results
- Discussing risk factors and warning signs
- Assisting with obtaining home healthcare or other necessary services
“Everything that’s discussed in a follow-up appointment is shared with the patient’s primary care provider,” Dr. Phares says. “But the benefit of the appointment is to give us the opportunity to meet with patients shortly after they return home to discuss everything in detail before something occurs that could cause readmission.”
Studies show that these post-hospital appointments really do make a difference. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, patients who have a clear understanding of their post-hospital care instructions are 30 percent less likely to be readmitted or visit an ER.
It’s important to note that not all patients require a post-hospital follow-up appointment — it varies by individual needs, medical conditions and health status. If your hospital care team determines you could benefit from the Post-Hospital Follow-Up Program, your appointment will be scheduled upon discharge.
For more information about the Post-Hospital Follow-Up Program, call 775-982-5000.