Nursing homes and hospitals work together to lower readmission rates

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Techniques such as screening for sepsis and a standardized discharge form have helped to lower the rate of rehospitalized nursing home patients in Florida.

A technology used by the Florida Health Care Association that tracks patients readmitted to the hospital after 15 days has helped Florida realize an 11% drop in hospital readmissions in the five most common reasons for readmission since 2008: heart attack, heart failure, coronary bypass surgery, hip replacement and pneumonia, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

The discharge rate to skilled nursing facilities, however, remains a concern according to the FHCA. To tackle this problem, officials at one hospital noticed that many patients discharged to SNFs after being treated for heart failure returned to the hospital with sepsis. When the hospital started working with local nursing homes on screening residents for infection, however, it eliminated sepsis as a reason for readmission within six months, the newspaper reported. The solution? Running more frequent lab tests and watching for symptoms such as fever and confusion.

Nursing homes and hospitals in Tampa also have been testing a standardized form with checklists (to eliminate handwriting misreading) to keep both provider settings on the same page with each patient, according to the report.
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