Care Transition has historically been the most neglected piece of a patient’s healthcare journey. However, today, joint forces that include changes in legal mandates as well as a shift in the payment philosophy, place a higher premium on this vital aspect of the treatment lifecycle. Read further to understand the three most critical factors that have lead many healthcare facilities to revisit their age-old policies and processes related to the transition of care.
In the days gone by, a patient’s discharge only meant focusing on the physical aspects of the move. In other words, relocating a patient to a rehabilitation facility or back home were looked at merely from a logistical point of view. Management of care during and after the shift was ignored, a grave mistake that often caused new complications. Today, with higher penalties levied on readmissions and a change in mindset from ‘payment for services rendered’ to ‘payment for an outcome,’ healthcare entities have begun feeling the heat resulting from poorly managed care transitions. Here are the top three reasons that make up a solid argument in favor of revamping the transition process at your organization:
Care Transition Is Much More Than Discharge Formalities. A transition of care does not necessarily mean the end of treatment. Besides, moving patients from one healthcare entity to another or a convalescence home or any other specialized facility implies a change in the setting they are in right now. Such a change may require additional precautions, modifications in medications depending on the patient’s condition, and a higher self-awareness of what should be done to maintain good health. It is, therefore, essential to set up a skilled, multi-disciplinary management team to handle the transition process better so that the patient experiences a seamless shift.
Readmissions Can Create a Big Financial Dent – Latest government mandates have left no room for doubt when it comes to increased monetary penalties associated with readmissions. It is said that when a patient is discharged and then reinstated even once, the overall cost increases by 100 percent! This escalated financial burden is a good enough reason for facilities to revisit their transition process.
Ill-Managed Transitions Lead to Poor Outcomes – Achieving effective health care when it is delivered in a piecemeal fashion is impossible. Lack of communication between patient and physician or even between two specialists who are reviewing the same patient is one example of a broken care transition system. Similarly, a patient’s lack of knowledge concerning current medication dosage is also something that points at a faulty transition. Such patchy shifts often lead to adverse health outcomes which are not just bad news for patients but also for their physicians.
The mantra for any health-related concern states ‘Prevention is always better than Cure’. Likewise, preventing bad results by implementing a holistic care transition procedure is a much better approach than reacting to health conditions arising from ineffectively handled changeovers. If you need help in further understanding how to set up an active care transition process for your healthcare unit, contact us here.