Readmission reduction strategy: Involve family members in care plans

Organizations that educate and involve family members in the care of patients who suffer from memory loss may significantly reduce hospital readmissions, according to a new study in the American Journal of Accountable Care. Researchers from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit analyzed a strategy in the treatment of 489 patients in congestive treat failure unit. The team involved family members in the care and coping with the complications of the illness and then compared the results with two units in the hospital that did not include family members. They found the 30-day readmission rate dropped from 23 percent to 16 percent. "Assigning a nurse to at-home patients is simply not feasible for manpower and cost reasons," lead author Mark Ketterer, Ph.D., a clinical health psychologist in the Department of Behavioral Health Services at Henry Ford, said in the study announcement. "We found that involving and educating the family about the forgetfulness we frequently see in patients and having them more involved in overseeing the care at home proved to be really successful in keeping patients from returning to the hospital." Study