Sunday, September 19, 2010

Reducing Hospital Readmissions

Every day thousands of patients are readmitted to hospitals because they did not get adequate follow-up care following their previous hospitalization. In fact, 18 percent of patients are readmitted to a hospital within 30 days of discharge and as many as 76 percent of these readmissions are preventable. According to recent national figures, healthcare expenditures indicate that unplanned hospital readmissions cost Medicare $17.4 billion in a single year.

In their latest report “Technologies for Improving Post-Acute Care Transitions,” the Center for Technology and Aging examines how the use of a variety of existing technologies could dramatically reduce readmissions.

“Several technologies widely available have the potential to support post-acute care transitions, but they are underutilized,” reports David Lindeman, PhD, Director of the Center for Technology and Aging. “Home-use of technologies helps decrease readmissions by engaging patients and caregivers in ways that promote better communication, medication adherence, and help monitor chronic conditions.”

The report covers four post-acute care transition (PACT) technology focus areas:

• Medication Adherence Technologies are responsible for 33 to 69 percent of medication related hospital readmissions
• Medication Reconciliation Technologies would reduce adverse drug events. Twenty percent of discharged patients experience an adverse event and two-thirds of those events are medication related
• Remote Patient Monitoring Technologies can involve some popular RPM devices such as Health Buddy, Telestation, Genesis DM, Intel’s Health Guide, LifeView, Ideal LIFE Pod, and Healthanywhere
• Health Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) involve PHRs, web-based social networking, and remote training and supervision technologies

The report includes a description of four well known care transition models with varying use of home-based technologies such as Care Transitions Intervention, Guided Care, Transitional Care Model, and Geriatric Resources for Assessment and Care of Elders.

To download the complete report, go to