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Five Ways mHealth Can Decrease Hospital Readmissions
Patients who are discharged from the hospital after a heart attack, congestive heart failure, or pneumonia have high rates of short-term readmissions. As per a provision in the Affordable Care Act, a Medicare patient with one of these diagnoses who is readmitted within 30 days for the same will trigger a denial of reimbursement for the subsequent admission.
There are many things which need to change to limit these events, though not all readmissions can be prevented, as nothing in medicine is absolute. Identification and intensive interventions (inpatient and post-discharge) with high risk patients, better communication/care coordination, discharge processes, and patient education have been shown to produce results. I would make a case for mHealth to become an integral part of all these components of a multi-faceted solution . here are a few ways that mHealth may be incorporated in the process:
This is a simplistic description of a complex disruption of hospital culture. The above ideas are neither new nor solely my own. 90% of hospitals say they are aware of and addressing the issue of readmissions. However, few hospitals are attacking this issue in a concerted and comprehensive fashion. Significant changes in the utilization of personnel, investment in technology, and a commitment to making the patient the center of healthcare are imperative for success of not only preventing readmissions, but of care in general.
David Lee Scher, MD is Director at DLS HEALTHCARE CONSULTING, LLC, uniquely concentrating in mobile health technology clinical research design and implementation. Follow his blog: http://davidleescher.com/
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