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QUALITY IMPROVEMENT IN ACTION
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 46-52

The impact of post-discharge follow-up calls on 30-day hospital readmissions in neurosurgery


1 Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
2 Neuromedicine Interdisciplinary Clinical and Academic Program (NICAP), University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Correspondence Address:
Frederick R Kates
Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, PO Box 100195, Gainesville, Florida 32610
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JQSH.JQSH_29_18

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Background: Hospital readmissions that occur within 30 days of the initial hospital stay are costly and potentially avoidable. Studies have shown that in addition to patients’ discharge instructions and education, follow-up calls post-discharge can significantly reduce readmission that occurs within 30 days of the initial hospital stay. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of nurse follow-up calls conducted in the neurosurgery service for discharged patients between October 2017 and February 2018 in reducing readmissions that occur within 30 days of initial hospital stay. Methods: An audit was initially conducted to assess compliance with conducting follow-up calls. Weekly discharge reports were used to check if patients received a follow-up call within 24–48h post-discharge. To capture the nurses’ feedback on follow-up calls, an anonymous survey was administered. Medical insurance claims data, also known as claims-based data in the American health care system, were reviewed and analyzed to assess whether there was any difference in number of days from initial discharge to readmission between patients who received a follow-up call and those who did not. Results: Results based on a multivariable regression model indicated that patients who received a follow-up call after they were discharged from initial admission stayed out of hospital longer (incidence-rate ratio = 1.54, 95% CI = [1.13, 2.10], p = 0.006) compared to those that did not receive a follow-up call. Conclusion: Readmitted patients who received post-discharge follow-up calls had significant improvements in the length of time out of the hospital. Future development could include developing additional call strategies.


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