Last November, the Michigan Value Collaborative (MVC) launched its goal to work together to be number one in the country for CHF readmissions. MVC hospitals have shared best practices and challenges with one another through workgroups, toolkits and blogs to collaboratively meet this goal. In addition to learning from one another, there is information to be gained in how hospitals outside of Michigan are addressing readmissions.
A report from the Commonwealth Fund titled “Reducing Hospital Readmissions: Lessons from Top-Performing Hospitals” identified quality improvement strategies implemented with measurable impacts on reducing readmissions. One of the hospitals studied is in Utah, which currently has the lowest CHF readmission rate in the nation according to CMS Hospital Compare. According to the study, successful quality improvement strategies included incorporating evidence-based practice into daily protocols, standardizing procedures along with information gathering, providing feedback and supporting clinical decisions through electronic information systems.
Specific initiatives underway include:
Providing clinically excellent patient care with a focus on patient safety. Doing this leads to a fall in readmission rates, improvement in quality measures and savings are realized as a byproduct.
Using information technologies as tools that improve quality, integrate care and ease patient transitions.
Early involvement of case management and discharge planning.
Targeting high risk patients and ensuring frequent communication across the whole care team.
Teaching patients and families how to manage their conditions.
Maintaining a life-line with high risk patients after discharge.
Aligning the efforts of hospital and community providers to ease transitions across care settings.
The authors noted that hospital environments played a role in each facility’s ability to reduce admissions. Specifically, the success of the initiatives were influenced by policy environment, local health care markets, association with an integrated health system and the priorities set by hospital leaders.
Many of the programs implemented by the top performing hospitals are similar to initiatives discussed by the MVC CHF readmission workgroup. For more information on the workgroup or toolkit, please contact Deby (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Abeer (email@example.com ).