Clear Patient Discharge Instructions Increase Patient Satisfaction

Patient Discharge

Beginning in October of 2014, Medicare has been fining hospitals with high readmission rates and low HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores. In order to avoid these fines, facilities must find ways to reduce readmission rates and provide better patient experiences. The main complaints that facilities get from their patients are the following:

 

 

  • Confusion regarding diagnosis
  • Confusion regarding medication management
  • Unclear discharge instructions
  • No scheduled follow up appointments

It is difficult for all parties involved when there is a patient diagnosis. Many times the patient is overwhelmed at being in a hospital, and distractions are everywhere. It is not until they are back home when they are able to fully digest all of the information they just received. It is very important to send patients home with patient discharge instructions that are specific to them. The internet is full of information, and a patient that is uncertain about their diagnosis will seek clarification and runs the risk of an inaccurate self-diagnosis.

A Care Transition Tracker includes a checklist that allows the patient to be proactive and accountable with his or her healthcare. The checklist reinforces confirmation of a patient’s understanding as to their care, while also keeping any other necessary information, including medication management, in one easy location.

Medications cause a great deal of confusion for many patients. Remembering what they are for, when to take them, potential side effects etc. are all large contributors to an increase in readmission rates. Facilities can easily reduce this confusion by providing education to patients and their families or caregivers, and providing them with a medication record. A medication record is a place to keep information such as medication names and doses, frequency, and description.

Prior to a patient discharge, facilities that take the time and clearly explain discharge instructions, along with what to expect during recovery, experience higher patient satisfaction as well as less patients seeking readmission. Patients that do not get the education they need about their diagnosis and follow up care often become nervous once they are home and seek the comfort of a hospital. Facilities can easily create peace of mind by having a clear discharge protocol in place.

Scheduled follow up appointments are another way to provide a level of comfort for patients. They are less likely to seek readmission knowing that they have an appointment in the near future. This is also a great way to complete the discharge process and reassure the patient they are receiving the highest level of care.

Our Care Transition Tracker provides facilities with an easy way to increase patient satisfaction. In one convenient location, patients have their scheduled follow up appointment, receive hard copy explanations of their medications, a list of potential symptoms, and there is still room for provider’s names and contact information.

Contact us today to learn more about how our trackers are able to increase your facility’s patient satisfaction.