Kim J. Verhaegh of the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam and colleagues examined whether readmission rates for chronically ill patients from a variety of countries could be improved with interventions targeted at the discharged patients and their informal caregivers. They found a readmission rate reduction in both the intermediate (31-180 days) and long term (181-365 days), yet a reduction in the short term only after high-intensity interventions. With high-intensity approaches including a home visit within three days of discharge, care coordination by a nurse, and hospital-primary care coordination, the absolute risk reduction was 5 percent in the short term, 7 percent in the intermediate-term and 13 percent in long-term readmissions. The authors conclude that countries around the globe with aging, chronically ill patients should consider these interventions as a method of reducing preventable and costly readmissions, and study new ways to improve short-term readmissions in particular.
Jeremy Laurance of Imperial College London and coauthors offer four case studies on the promise of patient engagement in lowering costs and improving outcomes from regions including the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
Article: Transitional Care Interventions Prevent Hospital Readmissions For Adults With Chronic Illnesses, Kim J. Verhaegh, Janet L. MacNeil-Vroomen, Saeid Eslami, Suzanne E. Geerlings, Sophia E. de Rooij and Bianca M. Buurman, Health Affairs, doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2014.0160, published September 2014.