"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Reducing Readmissions at WMHS

It's working!  Our readmission rate for July was 8.51%; a dramatic improvement over the same month last year which was around 20%.  Why is it so important, you ask?  Any patient who is readmitted with a similar diagnosis within 30 days of a previous admission results in no payment for any subsequent admission within that 30-day period.  Such admissions are deemed avoidable and unnecessary.  We are making excellent progress as a result of exceptional teamwork, led by Dr. George Garrow, our Chief Medical Officer and Carol Everhart, our Director of Care Coordination.  These two individuals and their team have been chipping away at readmissions and reached single digits around April of this year.  They continue to focus on preventing avoidable readmissions through a variety of approaches including:  a more effective patient education program prior to discharge, a more thorough longitudinal discharge plan, follow up with the discharged patient at home through CareLink, a nursing home RN transitionist visiting patients in the hospital before they are returned to the nursing home and once at the nursing home, many more referrals to Home Care, high-risk patients being provided with the discharge medications before they leave the hospital, more immediate follow up primary care physician / nurse practitioner appointments once the patient is discharged, reconciliation of patient medications upon admission and upon discharge.  Just to name a few.  What does this mean in dollars and cents?  Our readmission rate for July annualized would save WMHS around $1.4M this fiscal year.  An absolutely awesome outcome for WMHS.  Great job everyone!

No comments:

Post a Comment