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Nurses Develop Tool to Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Form identifies high-risk patients

Nurses at California Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles have created a new tool to help reduce hospital readmissions, according to a report posted on Nurse.com.

“We were looking for a way to improve on our generic readmission checklist that is completed on a patient’s admission to the hospital,” said nurse manager Gladys Castro, RN. “The medical/surgical unit has the highest volume of readmissions, so we formed a committee to develop a tool that would identify risk factors for patient readmission.”

Within two weeks the committee had developed a high-risk readmission form, which is filled out during a patient’s admission to the hospital. The tool includes questions that assess each patient’s mobility, risk of falls, whether they use oxygen, age, and other factors. If a patient is identified as being at high risk for readmission, then the admitting nurse will put in an order for a case manager to review the case.

More than a year after its introduction, the readmission form has shown promising results, Castro said. Staff compliance has risen from 33% when the form was first introduced to 98%.

The high-risk readmission form is also used during the medical/surgical staff’s morning huddles to address any issues or problems that may have surfaced since a patient was first admitted.

“As part of our commitment to patient-centered care, we are using the form to look at what the patients need upon admission to the hospital, whether it’s chronic-disease education, oxygen, or help getting to their appointments or getting their medications filled,” Castro said.

Source: Nurse.com; December 23, 2015.

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