Phone checks on pensioners after they leave hospital can cut readmission rates by almost half

16th Jun, 2019
Read time: 1 minute

There's a worrying rising trend in emergency readmissions. In fact by 25% over the past 4 years. Unsurprisingly the elderly are more likely to be readmitted and 15% of over 65-year-olds are readmitted within 28 days. Leaving hospital can be a stressful time, and patients often have unanswered questions.

NHS figures show that there were around 865,000 emergency readmissions to English hospitals in 2017-18, costing the NHS at least £2.4bn per year.

Savings are in reach

New research, published in June 2019 by Aston University, shows that when over-65s receive a phone call by nurses within a day of leaving hospital it makes a real difference. It can make the NHS significant savings in return.

Lead researcher, Dr James Brown, confirms that “A simple contact and follow-up service can reduce over 65-year-olds readmissions by 41%”. Practitioners at Solihull from the Heart of England Foundation NHS Trust (HEFT), led the care pathway redesign.They recommend that patients with social care needs who are at risk of readmission, receive a follow-up phone call or visit 24-72 hours after discharge.

Technology may already be in-house

NHS Trusts with Netcall Reminder systems are well placed to manage these calls. They know they already easily achieve Appointment DNA (did not attend) improvements. Supporting their Nursing with Discharge follow up calls, extends the use of technology that they already have in place.

How it works

Data is collected in just the same way as for appointment reminders. Just this time, the output is from the Discharge functionality within the PAS (Patient Administration System). A daily contact campaign is created and exported for system use. While a phone call would be the primary contact for over 65-year-olds, it is also possible to have a gentle check by SMS or email. Hospitals could cost effectively reach a wider audience so that everyone knows they are able to ask for assistance. Every avoided readmission is a saving.

It’s easy and it has standardised Information Governance

Busy nurses will be automatically supplied with a list of specific patient calls. Their easy to use interface also ‘pops-up’ relevant patient data. Nurses are prepared and able to have useful conversations. Making calls is simply by click-to-dial. Retries and rescheduled calls are also easy to manage.

Always a human voice

Older patients just discharged from hospital may be easily upset. It’s reassuring to know that campaigns can ensure that they always answer the phone to a friendly human voice.

If you need to support your over 65-year-old patient community with a discharge follow up, just ask us how. Your solution may be in easier reach than you think.

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