It’s no secret that as we get older, hospital admissions become more likely. Additionally, studies have shown that as we get older, our chances of hospital readmission also increases. In fact, one study performed in 2010 showed that almost 1-in-8 senior surgery outpatients are readmitted to the hospital. And while some readmissions are certainly unavoidable, an ecaring.com study showed that almost 75% of these readmission cases could have been avoided with proper transitional care and better communication with physicians and family. Which is why it’s essential for seniors leaving the hospital to start their transition care and planning as soon as possible.
Below are some tips for helping to avoid hospital readmission:
Communicating early and often with surgeons, physicians, and family doctors is key to avoiding hospital readmission, and it’s important to start the discussion before your friend or loved one leaves the hospital. Make sure, before you leave, that the discharge plans are clear and concise, and do not hesitate if you have any questions as to the planning. If possible, as well, ask for the discharge plan in writing. This will give you something to come back to if you have any questions.
Some questions to consider when talking to the doctor at the hospital:
1. Will your friend or loved one need any additional medication? If so, will that interfere with any of the medications they are currently taking?
2.) What additional help will they need around the home?
3.) What are some common issues with this type of surgery/treatment, and how, if possible, can they be avoided?
2.) Schedule an appointment with your family physician
More than likely, a follow-up appointment will be needed with your family physician to make sure everything is going well. Talk to the doctors at the hospital and ask them when a follow-up will be needed, and do not hesitate in scheduling the appointment. Having a doctor examine your friend or loved one can help prevent small issues from becoming bigger ones.
3.) Get others involved
Finally, it is a very real possibility that your friend or loved one will require some extra assistance around the home. If so, find out what they may need help with and ask friends or family members with what they can help with and when they can.
If you find they may need more help than you can provide, or if you feel uncertain about the transition from hospital to home, keep in mind that there are a number of companies out there, like us here at Alliance Home Health Care, that have certified Home Health Care Coordinators that are trained in planning, managing, and assisting these transitions.
As always, if you would like to learn more, feel free to visit us at alliancehomehealthcare.net, or call us at 317-581-1100.
This blog, as are all our blogs, are for informational purposes only and should not be intended to replace the advice of a doctor.