Hospitals are releasing too soon, but nursing homes can seize opportunities to reduce readmissions, INTERACT creator says
Nursing homes need to build relationships with their local hospitals to reduce unnecessary readmissions, cut costs and provide better care, a geriatric expert said Thursday.
Joseph Ouslander, M.D., who led the creation of the INTERACT system, addressed some of providers' key questions in a McKnight's webinar Thursday. Medline sponsored the event.
In response to the question, “Are hospitals releasing too soon?” Ouslander says many times, yes. But when that happens, it's a chance for nursing home leaders to reach out and strengthen the relationship with the hospital. Don't approach the hospital with a blame-and-shame mindset, Ouslander advises, but sit down and discuss how the care teams can work together.
Inviting hospital acute caregivers to the long-term care facility and building relationships based on mutual respect are important, he said. When a transfer occurs, make it a “warm handoff” by following up with a telephone call, a secure email, or some other form of person-to-person communication.
Ouslander also addressed how reducing readmissions can lead to substantial cost savings, and outlined the steps SNFs can take to successfully implement INTERACT or a similar quality improvement program. The full webinar and accompanying PowerPoint presentation are available here.