Having to be admitted to the hospital is likely going to be a stressful time for anyone, regardless of their age or their physical health. For the elderly, it can lead to many other problems and concerns and the road to recovery can seem daunting at times. That’s why it is so important to have the entire family as well as the patient on board in understanding how to reduce hospital readmission rates.
When we’re talking about being able to reduce hospital readmission rates, we’re referring to the improvement in the patient’s overall health and ensuring that they continue on the right path with their care. We need to take responsibility for our own care, but that doesn’t mean that we have to walk down this path alone.
There is nothing pleasant about staying in the hospital and about the only thing worse is that once you’re released, having to go back and be readmitted shortly thereafter. In fact, 1 out of every 8 elderly patients who are released from the hospital will end up back in the hospital within 30 days.
There are some things that the patient and his or her family can do that will make a difference in their health and help them avoid making that dreaded return trip to the hospital. This advice is derived from the L.A. Times article, How to Avoid a Return to the Hospital by Lisa Zamosky.
Make sure that the medications and instructions are clear. When the patient is confused about his or her medication, it can cause issues in their recovery at home. You want to make sure that the patient and anyone who will be helping them, understands what they need to take and when.
You should also make sure that side effects are understood as well, so you can be aware of them and expect that some might occur.
Make a follow up plan. Getting the proper care means that you may need to visit with the doctor. Be sure that you have a follow up plan in place before leaving the hospital. The doctor or administrative staff should advise you or the patient about when they should come back for a checkup.
Be sure that you understand the basics. There are a lot of aspects of recovery, depending on the physical condition of the patient, but we often get lost in the complicated diagnosis and treatments. Don’t neglect the basics, and if it’s necessary, don’t hesitate to hire home care services to help with the recovery.
Latest posts by Valerie VanBooven RN (see all)
- Snowfall Totals and BLIZZARD UPDATE: Storm buries South Jersey - January 23, 2016
- 4 Reasons the Aid and Attendance Pension is Great for Veterans Needing Care at Home - December 10, 2015
- 3 Questions to Ask about the Flu and Its Impact on Hospital Readmission Rates - November 29, 2015