Nursing News: Nurses Save Lives and Money

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, March 5th, 2013

A new study of a transitional care model of nurses talking weekly with recently discharged hospital patients finds that the program reduces readmission rates and saves money.

The study by a team of Wisconsin-based researchers examined the Coordinated Transitional Care program at a Veterans Administration hospital in Madison. Under the program, patients work with nurse case managers on care and health issues, medication reconciliation before and after hospital discharge, with all contacts made by phone once the patient is at home. These patients experienced one-third fewer re-hospitalizations than those in a baseline comparison group, producing an estimated savings of $1,225 per patient net of programmatic costs.

The nurse engages the patient in an open-ended discussion beginning within 72 hours of discharge from the hospital. They spend a lot of time talking about medications, follow-up and any signs and symptoms that the patient’s medical condition could be worsening.

The authors conclude that the program requires a “relatively small amount of resources to operate,” and suggest that it might be particularly useful for providers in rural areas or in care settings facing resource constraints.

This new field will require more nurses and increased nurse recruitment. To learn more about nurse recruitment and nurse retention strategies, and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

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