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September 2010 Volume I, No. 9

HIN Managing Editor Patricia Donovan

Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,

The use of devices during post-acute care transitions that remind patients to take meds, store prescription data and monitor patients remotely has the potential to reduce hospital readmissions, according to a new Center of Technology and Aging report featured in this month's issue. Also this month, Sutter Health's case management director describes Sutter's take on medication reconciliation, and Melanie Matthews, HIN's executive VP and COO, shares the latest market metrics on reducing avoidable ER use -- much of which is attributed to patients recently discharged from the hospital.

Haven't taken our second annual telehealth survey yet? Respond by September 30 and you will be e-mailed a summary of the compiled results. Learn how more than 75 healthcare companies are using telehealth in clinical and non-clinical areas. For example, 56 percent of respondents thus far monitor patients remotely.

Your colleague in the business of healthcare,
Patricia Donovan
Editor, ReadmissionsRx

This week's ReadmissionsRx news:

Table of Contents

  1. IT For Care Transitions
  2. HealthSounds Podcast: Reducing Avoidable ER Visits
  3. Readmissions Q&A: Medication Reconciliation
  4. New Chart: Home Visit Checklist
  5. Readmissions Trends & Studies: Reducing Readmissions
  6. Readmissions Roundup: Illinois Hospitals Target Readmissions
  7. Vital Signs: Telehealth in 2010

Read last month's ReadmissionsRx

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Please send comments, questions and replies to pdonovan@hin.com.

Publisher:
Melanie Matthews, mmatthews@hin.com

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5 Technologies to Tap During Post-Acute Care Transitions

A new report from the Center for Technology and Aging examines how the use of existing technologies during post-acute care transitions could dramatically reduce unplanned hospital readmissions.

"Technologies for Improving Post-Acute Care Transitions" covers five post-acute care transition (PACT) technology focus areas:

  • Medication adherence (e.g., devices that remind patients to take the right medication at the right time and alert caregivers when a medication has not been taken);
  • Medication reconciliation (e.g., software that stores medication information and detects potential problems, such as duplicate prescriptions);
  • Remote patient monitoring, including technologies that help detect early deterioration of a patient’s health condition;
  • Patient or caregiver access to health records and other important health information;
  • Social support and communications between and among patients and caregivers.
Included in each description is information such as technology definitions, how they are used in the home, their impact on readmissions and charts that compare basic features of various technologies.

The report also describes four well-known care transition models with varying use of home-based technologies: the Care Transitions Intervention, Guided Care, the Transitional Care Model, and Geriatric Resources for Assessment and Care of Elders.

“Several technologies are widely available and have potential to support post-acute care transitions, but they are underutilized,” said David Lindeman, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Technology and Aging. “Home-use technologies help decrease readmissions in a variety of ways, including engaging patients and caregivers in ways that promote better communication, medication adherence, and monitoring of chronic conditions.”

The complete report is available for download at www.techandaging.org.

For more information, please visit:
http://www.techandaging.org/PACT_Position_Paper_Press_Release.pdf

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HealthSounds Podcast: Reducing Avoidable ER visits

In this podcast, Healthcare Intelligence Network executive VP and COO Melanie Matthews shares the latest market metrics on reducing avoidable ER visits, derived from HIN's July 2010 survey on this topic.


To listen to this complimentary HIN podcast, please visit:
http://www.hin.com/podcasts/podcast.htm#128

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Medication Reconciliation During Care Transitions

Each month, a healthcare thought leader provides more insight on the challenges of reducing hospital readmissions. This week's expert is Jan Van der Mei, continuum case management director at Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region.

Question: With hospitals looking more closely at medication reconciliation during critical care transitions, how do inpatient case managers ddress this aspect of the care transition?

Response: Our medication reconciliation is primarily done by our nursing and pharmacy and not case management. In our facilities, nursing plays a large role, as do our pharmacists. We have a pharmacy call program we are just putting in place. High-risk patients — patients with seven or more medications and certain specific chronic illnesses — get a phone call. It starts in the hospital with the pharmacist, and then patients get a phone call after discharge.

For more information on best practices in case management, please visit:
http://store.hin.com/product.asp?itemid=4071

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New Chart: What Happens During Home Visits?

Sometimes it takes a home visit to a patient with complex chronic conditions to understand the barriers to care compliance that they face. We wanted to see which tasks are being performed during home visits.

Click here to view the chart.

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Benchmarks in Reducing Readmissions

With public and private payors realigning reimbursement with hospital readmission rates, more healthcare organizations are launching programs to reduce these rates. This white paper summarizes the responses of 107 healthcare organizations to HIN's November 2009 Reducing Hospital Readmissions e-survey, which identified the rudiments of readmission reduction efforts in the healthcare industry, from target populations and conditions to responsibilities, roles and ROI.

To download this complimentary white paper, please visit:
http://www.hin.com/library/registerrhr.html

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200 Illinois Hospitals Target Readmissions

Reducing 30-day hospital readmission rates for congestive heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia and reducing hospital-acquired conditions and infections are the key goals of the Illinois Hospital Association's (IHA) “Raising the Bar” initiative, a coalition of nearly 200 hospitals across the state. The initiative calls for the hospitals to engage in specific interventions over the next three years to reduce hospital readmissions and hospital-acquired infections and other complications.

Through IHA's new Quality Care Institute, hospital leaders will share best practices and implement new methods to prevent and reduce infections and other complications and unnecessary hospital readmissions. Through the Quality Care Institute, hospitals can access data, tools and best practices from across the state and from state and national experts on quality improvement and patient safety. The institute will also provide Illinois hospitals with practical approaches for performance improvement and will actively advocate for the removal of barriers to the coordination of patient care.

The Quality Care Institute is also providing members and the public a wide range of data on the services provided at nearly 200 Illinois hospitals and how they measure up in quality and safety of care through the Illinois Hospitals Caring for You Web site, www.illinoishospitals.org.

To learn more, please visit:
http://www.ihatoday.org/qci/pressrelease9-9.pdf

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Survey of the Month: Telehealth in 2010

Powered by the Patient Protection and Affordability Act, healthcare delivery via telehealth and telemedicine is transforming wellness, disease management, medication management services and illness prevention while enhancing access to critical healthcare services. You have until September 30 to join the more than 70 organizations that have already completed our survey on telehealth and telemedicine and get a FREE executive summary of the compiled results.

To take the survey, please visit:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/telehealth2010

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