By: Emily Shankie | March 26th, 2018
Research has proven that many factors contribute to the gap between patients and providers, specifically in the realm of hospital readmissions. Implementation of effective care coordination can reduce readmission rates and result in cost savings for hospitals. When technology is at the foundation of these efforts, care teams can more effectively and efficiently realize these benefits. Veta Health is focused on using technology and health analytics to bridge the gap between providers and patients.
Here is a typical scenario repeated all too often in healthcare: a patient goes into the hospital, is treated, and then sent home with a paper handout with all of their discharge instructions. The patient is then told to follow up with their provider within seven days of discharge. The resulting anxiety from being caught between a hospitalization and the next appointment with a few sheets of paper and a lot of unanswered questions, leaves the patient in despair and without the dynamic tools to guide them through this crucial stage of the recovery process. The patient is left at the mercy of an uncommunicative healthcare system.
And while it is common for the physicians and nurses to advise patients to record their vitals at home, it is uncommon for a patient to understand how to interpret this data or how to effectively report it back to their care teams.
A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine analyzed the medical records of 32,000 patients and found that nearly 13 percent of these patients were either readmitted due to incorrect vitals recording or suffered death. Those who experienced abnormalities in their vitals had a quadrupled risk of death.
Closing the gap between the physician and the patient by incorporating stronger feedback loops is paramount to avoiding the risks associated with health information being siloed to patients or providers. According to a 2013 study published in the Population Health Management Journal, conducting effective care coordination follow-up immediately after a patient is discharged, has a strong correlation with a reduction in readmission rates, compared to populations who receive this follow-up further after discharge or not at all. For the study population this intervention led to nearly half a million dollars in hospital savings and just under $14 million dollars in savings for the health plan.
The bottom line? By empowering patients to become active members of their care teams and by arming patients and care teams alike with tools to facilitate transparency, and empowerment, we see improved health outcomes and a stronger bottom line.