Preventing Unnecessary Hospital Readmissions
David May, MD, PhD, FACC, secretary of the American College of Cardiology and managing partner of Cardiovascular Specialists in Dallas, Texas, discusses transitions of care strategies that healthcare professionals should consider to help improve patient outcomes and reduce the burden of unnecessary hospital readmissions.
Dr May explains how hospital readmissions are costly in clinical and economic terms, and notes that many cardiology-related hospital readmissions are potentially preventable.
Although unanticipated issues may arise during transitions between levels of care, Dr May suggests that educating the patient and his or her family about the challenges that are likely to occur can help mitigate their need to seek further medical assistance.
Dr May discusses how scheduling doctors’ visits within the first 7 days following discharge is likely to comfort patients and lower the rate of unnecessary readmissions to hospitals or visits to more expensive sources of care.