Doctors revisiting patients develop better discharge plans

Doctors revisiting patients develop better discharge plans
Highlights

When resident physicians visit the homes of their former hospital patients they are in a better position to assess their needs

Washington DC, [USA]: When resident physicians visit the homes of their former hospital patients they are in a better position to assess their needs.

These doctors are also able to better understand the important role that community services and agencies play in keeping them at home and out of the hospital.

According to a recent study, resident physicians, commonly known as residents, often develop the discharge plans as part of their training programs. Typically they don't make a home visit after discharge to assess if the plan worked and many never see their patients again.

"After visiting the home, the residents were better able to understand what makes for a good hospital discharge of an older patient," explained a researcher Megan Young.

"By being able to go into the patient's home and see what services patients need (home-delivered meals, grab bars in the shower, medication delivery systems), we as doctors are able to provide more comprehensive care plans that allow community-dwelling older adults to stay in their home and out of the hospital," Young added

Adverse events in older adult patients following discharge from the hospital are as high as 25 percent. Since the affordable care act and hospital readmissions reduction program, many hospitals get lower payments if they have too many readmissions.

"Although this study did not look at re-admissions, the goal was to teach residents how to develop comprehensive discharge plans that involved community agencies and resources in the hopes that future patients will have fewer adverse events and readmissions," she further added.

The study appeared in the Gerontology and Geriatrics Education journal.

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