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‘Thinking Outside the Box’ May Not Be the Best Way to Reduce Hospital Readmissions

In the fight to reduce hospital readmission rates, hospitals have taken a more direct approach to helping support patients after discharge. Technically, if a patient has to be readmitted within 30 days of their discharge, that counts as a readmission.

Reducing Hospital Readmission Rates in Arlington VA: Following Recommendations

Reducing Hospital Readmission Rates in Arlington VA: Following Recommendations

Hospitals are under increasing pressure from the federal government to reduce these rates, even being fined a significant amount of money for failing to reduce those rates to an acceptable level.

It’s not always the failure of the hospital to provide adequate information and other support resources, but rather mistakes on the part of the patient when they are sent home. Some people try to get creative or avoid what their doctor has recommended, especially if they don’t agree with his or her recommendations.

What does it mean to ‘think outside the box’ with regard to recovery?

An aging senior’s doctor may recommend their patient avoid strenuous activities for a set period of time, such as three months. The senior may enjoy golfing, playing tennis, or doing other physical activities.

If the senior feels well enough to participate in some of those activities, they might assume it’s fine to do them again. That’s not always going to be the best thing.

Take pneumonia as an example. A person who has been hospitalized due to pneumonia will likely feel better by the time he or she is discharged and sent home. However, the virus is not out of the body just yet.

Their doctor may recommend adequate rest, but if that aging senior feels fine, he or she might take to cleaning the house, spending time with friends, or even doing those extracurricular activities they enjoy. They might even justify participating in these activities by saying, “exercise is a good thing.”

Sure, but not when you’re recovering from pneumonia!

Physical exertion can weaken the immune system and give the pneumonia virus or bacteria a chance to reestablish itself. If that happens, the senior will likely end up right back in the hospital, and while pneumonia is already life-threatening for aging men and women, the threat could be even worse the second time around.

That’s because the virus may have built up an immunity to the antibiotics used to treat it the first time.

If a doctor has recommended rest, that elderly patient should rest. If their doctor recommended physical therapy, they should participate. If their doctor recommended home care, they should take that to heart and get the support of an experienced home care provider.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care to reduce hospital readmission rates in Arlington, VA, call the caring staff at Medical Professionals On Call today. 703-273-8818.