Costly readmission of seniors to the hospital can often be prevented

By May 17, 2012Discharge Planning

Hospital readmissions have become a serious issue for seniors and their families. The good news is most of these readmissions can be prevented by paying careful attention to aftercare instructions.

Steve Barlam, Chief Professional Officer of LivHOME, discusses the specific steps that families and caregivers can take to avoid preventable post-discharge readmissions in Episode 29 of The Senior Care Podcast by LivHOME. He also looks at the broader implications of readmissions, which have become a significant issue for hospitals, insurers and seniors themselves.

Barlam explains that 1 in 3 seniors are readmitted to the hospital within 90 days of an initial stay. The reasons include confusion about the discharge plan and medications, a lack of follow-up with primary physicians, the absence of home health support and equipment, and insufficient attention to nutritional needs.

Overall, three-quarters of all readmissions are preventable. Avoiding preventable readmissions is important, Barlam says, because the hospital environment is disruptive and not necessarily conducive to health and well-being, with germs and viruses prevalent and privacy and comfort minimal.

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