LEAN Healthcare: Answering The Readmissions Challenge

A recent article in Health Leaders Media that showcases what Detroit Medical Center (DMC), an eight hospital system, is doing to answer the readmissions challenge by improving the workflow that leads up to and follows on from discharge. In fact, the caregivers at DMC’s hospitals no longer use the word “discharge” to describe the process of getting their patients out safely. “Now the word we use is transition, a much more refined process, to get our patients back into their community,” says Suzanne White, MD, the eight-hospital system’s executive vice president and chief medical officer. Optimium Health applauds the work Suzanne White and the team at DMC is doing.

Process Efficiency Can Reduce Readmissions

The challenges DMC faces with high readmission are not uncommon. And with new requirements and payment terms under the ACA, lowering patient readmission rates has become a high priority. To this end, White and her colleagues have detailed descriptions of more than 30 process steps or checks, with potential interventions, that now take place at specified points within the acute care stay. Some are tailored to where the patient is headed: home versus a skilled nursing facility, for example. But the process begins the moment a person is registered as an inpatient, and often involves agencies or care settings outside the hospital, especially private practice physicians and home health agencies. The results, a 25% readmission rate in December 2012 had fallen to 20% in January 2013 and 15% as of August 2013. For the entire article click here.

How Optimium Health Can Help

In response to the growing demand from our hospital partners, Optimium Health has developed a proven workflow technology, OPTIMI$ER, to address the workflow complexities and need for timely and accurate information exchanges between caregivers that accompany discharge planning, or transitions in inpatient care. OPTIMI$ER’s Care Management Suite will interface with existing IT systems to push and pull relevant data which eliminates duplicate entry and data entry errors, as well as to communicate patient status and next step process alerts to the relevant caregivers. Based on discharge planning best practice, the OPTIMI$ER Care Management Suite is customizable to a particular hospital’s needs.

If you would like to learn more about OPTIMI$ER Perioperative Setting or OPTIMI$ER Inpatient Care Management Suites, please contact Heather Guild at: heather@www.optimiumhealth.com.

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