ACH: Acute Care Hospitalization

Everyone’s talking about it!

It’s being talked about everywhere: Hospitals, Home Health, Physician practices, DME companies, and even sales staff but do we ever have the patient talk to us about preventing their rehospitalization? We tell the patient that we will front load the visits to keep a close eye on them. We talk about medications. We talk about disease processes and possible S/S of exacerbations. These topics need to be discussed to prevent a patient from going back into the hospital, but we are missing that special person- the patient.

We need to take this a step further. We need to have the patient talk to us. We need to inquire what has brought the patient to the ER or the hospital in the past. We need to find out why the patient feels the need to go to the hospital. Is it anxiety? Is it lack of knowledge? Is it security for the patient? Do they feel the staff at the hospital is what they need because they are more knowledgeable about disease processes? Is it because they don’t know anything about the medications they are taking? Do they not know how to prevent an exacerbation? We need to include the patient and dig into the reasons the patient has been hospitalized in the past from their perspective.

Once we find out about their past ER visits and rehospitalizations from the patient we can now begin a care plan for Home Health and the prevention of an ER visit or rehospitalization.

We are not treating a diagnosis, we are treating a patient. This person can give us the best history concerning their health. Once we include the patient, we have more of a buy-in and we now have a partner in our plan. We can discuss what their concerns are to prevent an ACH.

We all want to prevent these Acute Care Hospitalizations but no one wants to keep the patient out of the hospital more than the patient. Remember this is the most important person to include in your care planning. See what the patient’s goals are and when you do this you have begun a successful partnership in the prevention of rehospitalization.

Nancy Sciortino, RVP

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