Hospital Readmissions: Success of Electronic Health Record Follow-Ups

By Pamela D Wilson CSA, CG, MS, BS/BA

Due to the Affordable Care Act, hospital committees and related programs are widespread with staff diligently working to reduce re-hospitalization rates of older adults or face escalating financial penalties. Many studies are underway locally and nationally investigating a variety of methods to improve care.  Potential issues have been identified as:  drug interactions, lack of follow up with primary care physicians and lack of follow through on post care whether this be with home health, physical therapy, community based care, medical treatments or lab tests.

A study completed by Gurwitz (2014) focusing on electronic communication between hospitals and the outpatient physician office did not demonstrate an increase in follow-up visits with a primary care physician or a reduction in the risk of re-hospitalization. How it is possible that all of these practical and well thought out efforts failed to show improvement?

What efforts may not have been included in this effort that if included would have resulted in success? If you are currently on a committee working on re-hospitalization what outcomes are you witnessing? How might insight into this benefit you?

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©2014 Pamela D. Wilson, All Rights Reserved. 

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