#ColumbiaAgenda: Hospital Readmission Rates Cut, USC Beats Clemson With Grads, VC3, Colonial Life, Carolina Panthers, Sad Desk Lunches
Mar 15, 2019 09:37AM
● By Chris Haire
Hospital to Home program cuts readmission rates by 30 percent; Lexington Medical Center teamed up with Right at Home to offer in-home care: The Hospital to Home program, a collaboration between Right at Home in Columbia and Lexington Medical Center, is reporting success after two years of helping patients recover at home after hospital stays.
In October 2016, when the Hospital to Home program began, the readmission rate for applicable patients, including many with socioeconomic barriers, was 24 percent. As of September 2018, that number has dipped to 17 percent, a total reduction of 30 percent.
Right at Home is an in-home care and assistance company that employs approximately 160 caregivers. The Hospital to Home program is funded by the Lexington Medical Foundation and the Duke Endowment, and is offered at no cost to patients who case managers designate as high-risk for readmission.
“The idea is to provide patients with additional support,” says Mike Brown, vice president of operations at Right at Home. A transitional care coordinator offers non-medical assistance including transportation to and from appointments, bathing, light housekeeping, medicine reminders and more. The service is offered in addition to any home health the patient may need, such as occupational or physical therapy.
A Right at Home caregiver meets regularly with a representative from Lexington Medical Center to discuss each patient’s needs and medical status. The service has helped 484 patients in two years, or approximately 20 patients per month.
Charles Brown, owner of Right at Home, says the program offers additional “boots on the ground,” because patients and their families often do not understand their needs until they get home. “We can tailor services to what the needs are, because people are sometimes pretty sick when they get discharged,” he says. “The needs are higher at home than 10 years ago. So patients are very grateful.”
The Browns expect more hospitals to begin building partnerships with in-home care companies to keep readmission rates low. “In the future, if a hospital wants to remain competitive, they have to have something like this in place,” Mike Brown said. “I give a lot of credit to Lexington Medical Center, because they came in with an open mind. When a hospital is willing to put resources behind something like this, the results are fantastic.”
Charles Brown says patients surveyed after participating in the program show that it had a positive impact. “Very few hospital systems have something like this in place, and the patients are so thankful for the extra service,” he says. “They are able to get well and not go back to the hospital, so it’s been very rewarding.” --Leigh Savage
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