Hospital care and medical costs can be expensive, especially for adults. Our seniors are more at risk of certain health conditions; thus, an increasing number of older adults are getting admitted every year. To make it worse, readmission to hospitals is growing significantly and has become a healthcare problem. Millions of patients are expected to return to the hospital after a month of being discharged.
Getting out of the hospital is a good thing. It means the patient is getting better and hospital bills will stop, but did you know that hospital readmission rates for elderly patients are higher? Readmission of patients may either return to the same hospital or a different hospital. When this happens, it can be stressful both for the patient and their family. It can also take a huge toll on the patient’s overall health. The more time a patient spends in a hospital, the more likely they are to get stressed or develop serious illnesses that can put their lives at risk.
That is why it is essential to reduce hospital readmission. Taking steps to ensure the patients don’t get admitted again is important because it protects you from potential health care bills and keeps those vulnerable members of the family safe from other health risks. Here are some steps on ensuring a successful transition to home can reduce hospital readmission in older adults.
- Use the technology
When a patient gets out from the hospital, mobile and in-home devices can be used at home to monitor their health. Technology isn’t just for surfing the internet but can also monitor, assist and promote patient care and engagement when at home.
- Communication is the key
Before a patient is sent home for recovery, it is important to ask the doctor for home care needs, recommendations, the activity allowed and the possibility of hiring some help. It is always a good idea to ask questions.
- Be careful with medication
Medication errors can be common at home and are common reasons patients are being sent back to the hospital. Make sure to ask for a detailed and written medication chart for the patient and ensure that he/she will receive the correct medication properly.
- Schedule a follow-up
Getting out of the hospital doesn’t mean the patient is fully recovered. Before leaving, schedule a follow-up checkup with the patient’s doctor after 10 days. Doing so can prevent possible complications that may lead to readmission.
- Healthy lifestyle
Fill your fridge or pantry with healthy food such as fruits and vegetables or food that is tailored to the patient’s discharge plan. Also, consider exercising as part of the patient’s daily activity.
Hospital readmission can be prevented, especially if you follow these important steps. Using these steps can reduce unnecessary hospital readmission in older adults and help them recover at the comfort of their own home.
For those with complex medical needs and who require additional instruction or teaching on these items, skilled home healthcare can be the key to successful transition home, and preventing rehospitalization.