Reducing Senior Hospital Bounce Back Admissions
Bounce back admissions are admissions created at hospitals from patients returning within 30 days of their last visit. This number has become increasingly high in senior age groups. Studies have found that senior citizens are having a higher than normal rate of hospital bounce back admissions following long-term or inpatient stays. There are several factors connected to this issue. Hospitals have started implementing programs to reduce the bounce back admissions of seniors. The following are a few ways that the hospitals are working with seniors to reduce these types of admissions.
Identifying High-Risk Patients
The first step in reducing the amount of re-admission within the first 30 days of release, is to identify high risk patients. High-risk readmissions are those individuals who may have particular illnesses, infections or other problems. For example, if the senior is returning to an assisted living care facility they may not be as high risk as someone returning to at home care or private living care. Identifying the types of patients can help reduce a return to the hospital even if an extension of their admission is necessary.
Follow-up appointments are another way hospitals are finding to reduce readmission. In fact, follow-up appointments by nurses or social workers have proven to reduce any issues that may be due to infection or improper health care. For seniors who are returning home to a private living environment or to the environment that has a home health provider on certain days of the week, the follow-up appointment ensures that they are receiving their medication properly and they are maintaining their health properly according to the directions from their physician.
Caregiver Education Programs
Another method that hospitals are using are caregiver education programs. These education programs are not only in-service programs for nurses and doctors, but also programs for home caregivers and for caregivers who are family caregivers. This caregiver education covers how to make sure the patient is receiving the proper care following discharge, the proper medication, and how to avoid issues that may cause readmission. The education program also discusses the warning signs that a senior may not be receiving the proper care after discharge, and how to report any improper care to make sure that the issue can be resolved without readmission to the hospital.
The combined effort of hospitals, assisted living facilities, community care, and social work options has led to a reduction in several major cities of readmission of seniors into hospitals. Though there is still a very high number of senior readmissions, the numbers are dwindling due to combined efforts. These combined efforts are being used in various towns across the country and especially in rural environments where readmission could lead to severe issues. Though many of these programs are still in the planning phases, there are programs that are being developed throughout the country to help seniors on a daily basis who may not have ongoing care after discharge from the hospital. These programs are new, but are developing quickly.