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Conversation Continues: Hospital Discharge Without a Net
CFAH Staff | June 7, 2011
In The Wall Street Journal's Informed Patient column, Laura Landro notes various efforts hospitals are taking to prevent re-admissions, including Boston University Medical Center's use of a virtual nurse named Louise. With Medicare providing $500 million in grants to fund projects aimed at reducing re-admissions, programs like these and others are being adopted. Landro adds that this is necessary in part because:
'With hospital stays shorter than they used to be, patients may be sent home in frailer states. They may not understand instructions on how to take care of themselves and face unexpected medical problems after leaving the hospital. More than a third of patients don't get the lab tests, specialist referrals or follow-up care they need.'
Jessie Gruman, President and Founder of the Center for Advancing Health, in a series of posts about her recent experience with stomach cancer, shared her own hospital discharge experience:
'However, this brief discussion didn't prepare me for the transition from complete dependence to complete independence, to leave the hospital confident that I could care for myself.' And it would have done nothing to help mobilize patients and families who are less aware of the many demands of post-surgical care at home.'
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