by Wendy Smith

Readmission prevention remains at the forefront of hospital initiatives. The penalties for not meeting readmission standards numbers are stiff and even the best acute management practices and discharge plans do not counter all the factors that lead to readmission. As an outsourced medical call center, we offer several successful patient engagement programs and our experience tells us that all of them begin with one important call.

The three main causes for readmission are:

  • Patients don’t follow the right medication regime
  • Patients and/or caregivers don’t understand the treatment plan
  • Patients don’t follow up with the physician

With this in mind, TeamHealth Medical Call Center has found that the single most important post discharge call happens within 48 hours of discharge. Our statistics show that a call made in this time frame is the most effective means of correcting patient misunderstandings, promoting risk management and reducing readmissions.

Patients and/or their caregivers do not always pay strict attention to discharge instructions as they are discharged from the hospital. This initial call can clarify medication or care instructions and alleviate confusion over normal and abnormal symptoms. Often patients don’t know what to look for or what signifies an increased health risk. A nurse or patient coordinator can discuss concerns at the beginning of the patient’s recovery period and provide guidance on when to call or see the doctor. This same call can also stress the importance of keeping scheduled follow-up appointments with the doctor.

Whether the call is made in-house or through an outsourced healthcare call center, telephone contact within 48 hours of discharge can coordinate patient care as they transition from the hospital to home or other setting and can set the stage for their recovery.

At TeamHealth Medical Call Center, our specialized patient experience staff knows how to make post hospital calls that increase compliance with discharge instructions and medication regimes. A phone call, or series of calls, from one of our trained nurses or patient coordinators can clear up care misunderstandings, schedule follow-up appointments and provide condition specific health literature and supporting materials, particularly with high risk patients. We’re experts in the field of readmissions reduction and our experience stands ready to help you navigate this challenging issue.

TeamHealth Medical Call Center is the nation’s premier provider of branded medical call center services including telephone nurse triage and readmissions prevention programs. To receive our ROI report on Outsourcing Readmission Prevention Services, click here or call Karen Brown, RN, at 865-985-7304 or Jeanne Griffin at 865-985-7303.

Wendy Smith

Wendy Smith