The Michigan Value Collaborative

Helping Michigan hospitals achieve their best possible patient outcomes at the lowest reasonable cost

Tag: discharge planning (page 1 of 3)

McLaren- Lansing: Using Change as an Opportunity for Optimizing Palliative Care

Kim Hecksel

McLaren- Lansing Palliative Care nurses from left to right: Kim, RN, Paula, CNP and Carol, RN

Although the palliative care program at McLaren- Lansing has been around for about a decade, health care organizations are constantly changing and evolving to meet patient and family needs. The MVC Coordinating Center had the opportunity to speak to the team of case managers and nurses from McLaren- Lansing to hear about the different successes and barriers to palliative care at this facility. One distinct characteristic of this palliative care program is that patients and families are seen by and interact with consistent faces, rather than different clinicians, each time they visit. McLaren uses this consistency as leverage through transitions of care, especially at a time when clinician duties and health organizations are constantly changing.

The palliative care program at McLaren- Lansing also keeps up with the constant changes in health care by utilizing different online resources. One resource available to hospitals interested in palliative care programs is the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC). CAPC offers a platform to help provide different health care organizations across the nation the tools and resources needed to advance palliative care programs in their respective institutions. For example, some CAPC resources help palliative care teams set up and develop a business plan for their respective palliative care programs. CAPC resources are helping guide the McLaren- Lansing team in creating a business model that illustrates the financial impact of a palliative care program on the health system. For more information on CAPC and the resources they can provide, visit www.capc.org.

The palliative care team also looks at the big picture of the care provided to patients and consequently putting together different pieces of information to ultimately develop a course of treatment that best meets the needs of the patients and the family involved. One of the barriers McLaren- Lansing has with their palliative care program is working with patients, family members and other health care providers on understanding the value of palliative care and what it really offers. When met with this resistance, the palliative care team works in different ways on learning about and discussing the care plan and goal setting to find the right format for communication and understanding a diverse patient population. For example, the palliative care team engages with physicians one-on-one and attends presentations on the benefits of palliative care to better understand and work with patients and their families about their diagnosis and individualized care plan. Taking advantage of different resources available, such as CAPC, and instilling a strong support system among the palliative care team and liaising teams are factors that aid in instituting a successful palliative care program.

If you are interested in learning more about the palliative care program at McLaren- Lansing, please feel free to reach out to Deby (debevans@med.umich.edu) or Abeer (abeery@med.umich.edu) for more information and contact.

Adding a pharmacist to the care team helps reduce readmissions

Abeer Yassine

Abeer is the MVC Hospital Engagement Associate

Coordination of care has been shown to be extremely beneficial to patient care and many policy efforts have taken aim to engage the multitude of different health care providers.  Coordination among health care providers is beneficial not only to patient care, but also to optimizing resources and costs. Pharmacists are one member of the health care system that may not be used to their full potential, as the coordination between clinicians and pharmacists can help improve patient care through medication reconciliation, patient education, discharge planning, and reducing readmissions due to medication errors.

In an article published in The American Journal of Managed Care, post-discharge services provided by pharmacists were observed to study the impact on reducing hospital readmissions. A sample of high risk individuals enrolled in a managed Medicaid plan in California were observed thirty days’ post discharge. Pharmacists worked with outpatient clinicians on different services, such as patient education, discharge planning, and appointment transport arrangements to address medication-related barriers or other problems among patients. As a result of these transition of care services, there was a 25% lower risk of readmission compared to patients receiving typical care. Moreover, this transition of care pharmacy program significantly reduced 30 day readmissions at Kern Health Systems by 28%. More information on this study and methods used can be found here: http://www.ajmc.com/journals/issue/2017/2017-vol23-n3/impact-of-a-pharmacy-based-transitional-care-program-on-hospital-readmissions/P-1

To emphasize the importance of care coordination, the Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) and MPA Public Affairs committee have developed a booklet that outlines several care areas where pharmacists can participate alongside other health care providers to improve the patient experience and outcomes.  A myriad of clinical areas are outlined in this booklet, along with information on studies performed to validate that collaboration along different service lines can be beneficial to patient care.  The booklet can be found here: http://www.michiganpharmacists.org/Portals/0/resources/provider/PharmsasProviders_healthcare17.pdf?ver=2017-05-01-102819-910

The addition of pharmacists as a member of the health care team and utilization of their expertise, especially concerning proper medication usage, can have a significant impact for any health care facility.

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