Healthcare Headlines Blog

The Importance of Post-Discharge Follow-Up in Patient Outcomes

By Sean R. Muldoon, MD, MPH, FCCP, Chief Medical Officer, Kindred Hospitals

With consumers’ growing interest in their care, physicians are increasingly seeing the benefits that greater involvement can have with regard to patient satisfaction and outcomes.

For example, one research study found that inpatients who rate their care with a lower degree of satisfaction are more likely to readmit within 30 days with post-discharge complications.1

Therefore, greater patient involvement and satisfaction are key contributors to patient outcomes.

Research shows the benefits of post-discharge follow-up

While many strategies of increasing patient-centeredness are being applied during the patient’s time in the hospital, it is important to continue this level of care after discharge. Research on the subject reveals that:

  • Patients that were hospitalized with acute conditions are less likely to readmit if they are contacted as part of an early follow-up program post-discharge.2
  • 20% of readmissions are likely to be prevented in patients with three or more chronic conditions if they are contacted by a provider of care within 14 days of discharge.3

In patients with three or more chronic conditions, 20% of
readmissions are likely to be prevented if they are contacted by a provider of care within 14 days of discharge.

  • There is no significant difference in satisfaction between nurse-led telephone follow-ups and outpatient visit follow-ups, suggesting that telephonic programs are effective patient engagement tools.4,5

Implementing post-discharge follow-up services not only improves patient satisfaction, but can also reduce total cost of care over time as rehospitalizations or other major setbacks are prevented.

AfterCare

The Kindred AfterCare program is designed to help recovering patients heal and to provide the support they need once they have discharged to home from our hospitals. Clinically trained RNs will review patients’ charts and call patients within 12-48 hours, 7 days, 14 days, and 30 days post-discharge. They discuss DME and medication needs and education, PCP appointments, and any additional post-discharge services needed.

If you have a post-COVID or other patient in need of continued acute care, call a Kindred Clinical Liaison for a patient assessment. Our experts will help you determine whether an LTACH stay is appropriate for your patient. If you are unsure of who your Kindred representative is, please feel free to contact us via recoveratkindred.com and speak with a Registered Nurse who can assist.


References

  1. https://qualitysafety.bmj.com/content/27/1/48.abstract
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20442387/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4369604/
  4. https://bmccancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2407-10-174
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1462388910000840
By Sean R. Muldoon, MD, MPH, FCCP, Chief Medical Officer, Kindred Hospitals