Approximately 15% of elderly patients are readmitted within 28 days of discharge. This costs the NHS and patients. Previous studies show telephone contact with patients post-discharge can reduce readmission rates. This service evaluation used a cohort design and compared 30-day emergency readmission rate in patients identified to receive a community nurse follow-up with patients where no attempt was made. 756 patients across seven hospital wards were identified; 303 were identified for the intervention and 453 in a comparison group. Hospital admission and readmission data was extracted over 6 months. Where an attempt to contact a patient was made post-discharge, the readmission rate was 9.24% compared to 15.67% where no attempt to contact was made (p=0.011). After adjustment for confounding using logistic regression, there was evidence of reduced readmissions in the ‘attempt to contact’ group odds ratio = 1.93 (95% confidence interval = 1.06–3.52, p=0.033). Of the patients who community nurses attempted to contact, 288 were contacted, and 202 received a home visit with general practitioner referral and medications advice being the most common interventions initiated. This service evaluation shows that a simple intervention where community nurses attempt to contact and visit geriatric patients after discharge causes a significant reduction in 30-day hospital readmissions.
Bibliographical note© Royal College of Physicians 2019. All rights reserved.
Vernon, D., Brown, J. E., Griffiths, E., Nevill, A. M., & Pinkney, M. (2019). Reducing readmission rates through a discharge follow-up service. Future Healthcare Journal, 6(2), 114-117. https://doi.org/10.7861/futurehosp.6-2-114