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Why is it Important to Reduce Hospital Readmissions?

Doctor checking heartbeat of patient

When the CMS created the Hospitals Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) nearly 10 years ago, the goal was to reduce readmissions by improving patient engagement in the discharge process so that patients stick to their care plan. It’s helped many patients improve their health outcomes since it began, but sometimes providers lose sight of how important these measures are outside of those parameters.

So, why is it important to reduce hospital readmissions?

Improves Value of Care

A good hospital helps patients get better, but a great one prevents patients from coming back. That’s why the popular concept of value-based care, which rewards providers for quality care, is gaining momentum in more hospitals.

Think about it, what patient would want to go back to the hospital? They want whatever is ailing them to be treated the first time around so they don’t have to go back. Of course, complications can happen and the patient has to go back due to unforeseen circumstances, but if they’re readmitted because the hospital didn’t do their due diligence, that’s a problem.

A high readmissions rate reflects poorly on hospital quality, and that helps determine whether a patient will go to them for care. A high standard of care typically equals better health outcomes, so adding things like discharge interventions, which are easily understood and followed by patients, is critical.

Keeps Patients Engaged

When a hospital does everything it can to keep a patient healthy, there’s only so much it can do to encourage a patient to better care for themselves. But, increasing patient engagement can help.

In a case study, learn how one hospital system was able to reduce readmissions and improve care with the help of PatientBond, by delivering a steady stream of digital communications (email, text messages, automated calls) including patient response prompts to gauge recovery and readmission risks. You can also take a look at our comprehensive list of patient engagement strategies for insights, but for up-to-date patient insights that tug on patient motivations, providers can’t beat the PatientBond Insights Accelerator™.

Supports Operations

A big part of making any business efficient is making sure it runs smoothly. For hospitals, that means avoiding multiple issues, but there are some major issues that can lead to many problems, and a high readmissions rate can certainly do that.

The pandemic is a perfect example. Throughout the COVID waves, hospitals are flooded with patients including readmissions. It takes a toll on employees over time, particularly doctors and nurses, and it leads to burnout, which can lead to medical errors, poor patient engagement and employee turnover.

Higher readmissions mean poorer health outcomes. Prospective healthcare consumers are less inclined to use providers with poor services, so they go elsewhere, which impacts market share and finances. Of course, CMS penalties for readmissions add to the costs.

The fact is a hospital is only as good as its care, so if a provider wants to be serious about readmission reduction, they have to invest in patient engagement technology and segment concepts like the PatientBond Insights Accelerator™ and psychographic segmentation, which determines what will motivate someone to take action based on their values, beliefs and ideals.

Want to learn more about how to decrease readmission rates? Join us on Wednesday, June 22 for a webinar on how consumer science can help hospitals reduce readmissions by 50% in 30 days.

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