Risks Of Hospital Readmission

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Hospital readmission, a growing health concern, tallied in a whopping $17 B in Medicare cost for unplanned hospitalizations. With a variety of trends that account for the increasing cases of the elderly population at risk for hospital readmission, the authors discuss an in-depth evaluation on why this occurs. Readmission, refers to a return to the hospital after discharge from a recent stay where rates are reported at 30, 60, and 90-day intervals after discharge. Even though the elderly, aged 65 years or older, according to a study conducted in community hospitals and the veterans administration from 1990 - 1993, unfailingly represent the highest rate of hospital readmission compared to other age groups. According to the authors, readmission …show more content…
With significant breakthroughs in technology, comes new challenges with information availability. For example, internet enabled self-diagnosis, encourages people to seek knowledge and obtain recommendations of medication that could eliminate or treat their symptoms. Therefore, the greater the number of medications used either prescribed or over the counter, the greater the risk of an adverse drug effect. This eventually affects the physiological changes occurring in the body, such as absorption rate and how well it works in the body. Thus, the utilization of many drugs, poly-pharmacy, embodies the relationship between dose and response stemming from reoccurring visits to the emergency room, ambulatory primary and specialty care visits. Although polypharmacy may lead to readmission and adverse effects, sometimes clinicians have no other choice to maintain wellness and health. It is often times what is most beneficial for the patient. Therefore, readmission rates for diagnostic evaluation, hospitalization or palliative care of the elderly all depend on the disease and the severity of each patient’s condition. These rates vary considerably by hospital and by geographic area (Robinson, Howie-Esquivel, & …show more content…
Similarly, inefficiencies in the admission process such as keeping accurate record of events before, during and after their stay in the hospital leads to medical errors. For example, an injury during admission not properly noted will go unnoticed and may lead to other conditions if not treated. Such cases may go unreported and make life after discharge challenging (Robinson, Howie-Esquivel, & Vlahov). Thus, with no record of this, the patient may be unaware of conditions which makes it harder to diagnose, self-manage or intervene with outpatient care to prevent readmission. According to the authors, readmission studies rely on medical records. Therefore, accurate documentation can aid in preventing readmission rates. With no accuracy in documentation, medical errors that may be prevented go undetected unless they were sufficient enough to impose readmission. Consequently, the authors concurred, with the assumption that if patients previously admitted have no intervention in post-acute care, will continue to be a high risk for readmission. (Robinson, Howie-Esquivel, &

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