Efforts to reduce preventable readmissions may be a little easier thanks to two new campaigns launched by a leading accrediting agency that are aimed to help hospitals educate patients about post-discharge care.
The Joint Commission's new initiatives focus on patient engagement.
The first builds on its existing "Speak Up" campaign, and zeroes in on post-discharge care, a "make or break" step in the care process for providers seeking to prevent patients from making a return visit. The campaign offers easily understandable materials such as videos, fact sheets and podcasts to help organizations educate at-risk patients about what steps they must take after leaving the hospital and encourage them to talk to providers about anything that may confuse them. It also offers information about follow-up doctor visits, community resources, therapy, hospice or home care.
The second initiative, Quick Safety, is a newsletter that educates providers on how to improve care transitions with minimal readmission risk. It also explains the different connotations of patient engagement, patient activation and patient-centered care. While patient engagement involves active collaboration among providers, patients and families, patient activation refers to the patients' knowledge and readiness to manage their own care. Patient-centered care refers to a broader strategy for delivering care in a way that incorporates patient feedback, wants and needs.