Patients: Follow These Tips to Avoid Hospital Readmission
A first trip to the hospital is stressful enough, let alone a second. However, back at home, it’s easy to fall back into your daily routine without considering the steps you should take to avoid a quick return to the hospital. Manesha Hathcock, Director of Outcome Management at Baptist Memorial Health Care, has shared her tips for preventing hospital readmission.
What are some of the most common reasons people are readmitted to the hospital after being discharged?
There are three common reasons people are readmitted to the hospital once they go home: not going to their physician for a follow-up visit; missing doses of prescribed medications; and not following diet, exercise, and discharge plans.
What things can people do before leaving the hospital to ensure they are educated on the steps they need to take back at home?
Before leaving the hospital, you should get discharge instructions in writing, as well as verbally. This can give you something to refer to if you don’t remember exactly what the doctor recommended. You should also ask questions when the nurse is explaining the discharge instructions so you’re sure you clearly understand what steps you need to be taking. Have a friend or family member listen to the instructions as well for an extra pair of ears.
Lastly, get a follow-up appointment with your physician. If you’re having trouble getting prescriptions filled, ask to speak with a social worker at the hospital for suggestions.
What lifestyle changes can people make to reduce their chances of a hospital readmission?
One of the biggest things you can do is stick with a diet and exercise plan recommended by your physician. You should also stick with medication recommendations. Be sure to keep all doctor appointments so you can stay on top of any health changes and monitor anything necessary.
If you’ve recently gotten out of the hospital and need a refresher on the recommended steps or have questions about your instructions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor.