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Hospital Ensures Lower Readmission Rates

Hospital Ensures Lower Readmission Rates

Doctors at Baylor university medical centre do not have anything against heart patients. However, they would rather not have them re hospitalized after being discharged from the hospital.

In order to secure this, the heart specialists at the centre have individually supervised every patient, right from his moment of admission, to the moment he leaves the hospital.

This effort has paid off. One of the Medicare analyses has recently proved that the heart failure re admission rate is one of the lowest in the Baylor centre. The rate is at 15.9%, the national average is about 25%.the analysts said that Baylor’s rate was one of the best in the country. The analysis is a milestone in the promotion of improved hospital performance on the country.

The analysis is very powerful statistically. This is because the report found higher than usual death rates in most of the hospitals admitting patients for heart attacks and strokes. They also found a disproportionately high number of these in the poorer regions of the country.

In a study published by Circulation (a journal), the main problem areas were identified as Nebraska, parts of the South and Oklahoma. They had higher death rates. The areas like the north east had fewer ones.

However, the specialists at Baylor are against over emphasizing the findings. This improvement is part of the $20million investment that has been undertaken to improve performance at the 15 hospitals under it.

One of the integral parts of the hospitals improvement has been the jettisoning of the concept of patients being ‘discharged’ from the hospital. Instead of the concept of discharge from the hospital, more stress in attached on the concept of transferring of the care from the hospital to the community. Follow up is undertaken doggedly. Doctors even take care to visit to patients at the nursing homes so that the advice of the hospitals is carried out precisely.

Not only are these measures saving the lives of patients, they are also saving Baylor a lot of money. It saves about $1800 for every heart failure patient admitted to the hospital. For pneumonia, the savings are around $900 per patient.

Experts say that the best are in the country need not always cost the most. There was a need to emphasize these opportunities in the health reforms that are being undertaken by the government.

The main challenge would lie in converting the success of Baylor to a more countrywide phenomenon. The University Medical Center in Lubbock, Tex, the Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center in Macomb and Danville (Va.) Regional Medical Center have the highest rates of deaths from heart attacks in the country.

Many of the hospitals are now looking at the care they provide to patients, after the Baylor case was highlighted.

While doctors feel that bringing about overnight changes in mediocre institutions is a not an easy task, even trying to go for a slight change is of vital importance. Even a slight feeling of ‘why can’t WE do that?’ should be enough to bring about important changes in attitudes.


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