Post-Discharge Patient Communication—Why It’s Important and How It Can Be Streamlined
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), readmission disrupts patients’ daily routines and exposes them to hospitalization-related infections and complications. And during hospitalization, patients are more likely to develop hospitalization-associated disability and confusion.
That’s why it’s vital to engage patients post-discharge to reduce readmission rates.
Communicating with patients is essential to improving care quality and achieving positive patient outcomes. But once a patient leaves a skilled nursing facility, it can be difficult to sustain communication, and this can affect care continuity. Communicating with patients and their families post-discharge can help speed up recovery or enhance chronic disease management, lowering the chances of readmissions.
While engaging patients can be tough once they are discharged, skilled nursing facilities can do the following to facilitate communication, continue oversight, and make sure patients follow their care plans.
The Importance of Post-Discharge Patient Communication
According to the NCBI, about 15% of elderly patients are readmitted within 28 days of discharge. A research study revealed that telephone communication post discharge can help reduce readmission rates. In the study, geriatric patients who were contacted and visited by community nurses after discharge had fewer 30-day hospital readmissions.
Ensures Patients Comply with Their Care Plans
As healthcare continues to evolve, the patient’s responsibility for following their care plan after discharge continues to increase. Skilled nursing facilities must find ways to ensure patients comply with their care plans.
They can use a communication platform like VoiceFriend to maintain communication with patients after they get discharged. Nursing staff can stay in touch with their patients, monitor their progress, and proactively intervene when milestones aren’t met.
Actively engaging patients and their families in post-discharge care plans can limit preventable readmissions, decrease overall healthcare costs, and help skilled nursing facilities achieve better patient outcomes.
Enhances Patient Oversight
Patient engagement efforts shouldn’t stop when patients leave a long-term care facility. It’s important to keep communicating with them to ensure care plans are followed.
Communication technology can make it easier for skilled nursing staff to ensure everyone is focused on the patient’s care—patients, families, and home health providers.
A communication platform for skilled nursing facilities can ensure staff offer the necessary support to patients and their families by sending timely reminders and tracking the recovery progress through phone calls and texts. Skilled nursing staff can stay connected to patients, monitoring their progress, and overseeing their care long after discharge.
How to Streamline Post-Discharge Patient Communication—Use VoiceFriend
Post-discharge care is like preparing for a big game -- everyone involved must understand their role. By automating post-discharge communication, it becomes easy to identify and mitigate risk and act quickly. VoiceFriend can streamline the post-discharge process and reduce work for busy staff.
Care managers can easily send automated follow-up calls and texts. Patients’ answers get recorded on the communication platform and skilled nursing staff can easily identify patients at risk.
VoiceFriend’s color-coded dashboard highlights discharged patients in need of intervention, making it easy for nursing home staff to contact them. This helps prevent readmissions and improves patient outcomes. Skilled nursing facilities can also use the reports and analytics on the platform to enhance patient outcomes.
Visit our website to learn how VoiceFriend can help your skilled nursing facility enhance communication with patients and improve outcomes.