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How Long-Term Care Facilities Can Reduce Readmission Rates

 

Readmission rates – the rate at which patients are readmitted to a hospital soon after a previous stay – is an important marker of the quality of care that a long-term care facility provides.

When readmission rates are high, it suggests that the long-term care facility is unable to provide the proper care that the patient needs during his or her initial stay. As a result, the long-term care facility may end up spending a significant amount of funding on treating the same patients, rather than improving the facility or developing new treatments.

What’s more, long-term care facilities may end up being caught in what’s referred to as a “revolving door” scenario with local hospitals. A lack of coordination between hospitals and long-term care facilities can result in patients being admitted to the latter before they’re ready. In fact, in an article published by the New England School of Medicine, one in five Medicare patients are readmitted within 30 days with a completely different illness than the original diagnosis.[1]

Long-term care facilities can reduce these readmission rates by introducing digital technologies that help coordinate efforts between hospital and facility. Telemedicine, advanced machinery, and even mobile nursing stations allow medical professionals to provide excellent care to every patient. What’s more, these digital technologies can combat other factors associated with high readmission rates, which include lack of sleep, stress, pain and discomfort.

Here are how a few of these technologies are making it possible for long-term care facilities to reduce readmission rates:

  • Mobile nursing stations: Nursing stations benefit the most from medical tablets, as they’re specifically designed to help handle the heavy information load without adding physical demand with outdated medical carts. Patients can be quickly provided the care they need, while decreasing the risk for oversights and record errors.
  • Telemedicine: VOIP calling and video conferencing software have made it possible for doctors to access specialists – all over a computer screen. Many long-term care facilities don’t have access to or can afford specialists who can see patients and residents. By accessing this expertise without being tied to geographical location, hospital doctors can offer better care without requiring a patient to be readmitted to the hospital.
  • Digital Pharmacies: The future is here – and in the form of a digital pharmacy. Residents can quickly access the medications and prescriptions they need, while doctors and nurses can keep track of patient medication while reducing the likelihood for costly errors.

Learn more about Onyx Healthcare and how their products are improving patient care at hospitals, long-term care facilities, and medical clinics by visiting http://www.onyxhealthcareusa.com/ today.

[1] http://www.cepamerica.com/news-resources/perspectives-on-the-acute-care-continuum/september-2013/hospital-readmissions-and-the-long-term-care-revol

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