17:10 PM

7 Signs You Should Be Readmitted to the Hospital

U.S. News & World Report discusses reasons why a patient might need to be readmitted to the hospital after going home to recover and includes guidance from experts including Catherine MacLean, MD, PhD, chief value medical officer at HSS.

Dr. MacLean said depending on the reason for an admission, it should be clear what to look out for when getting home.

She noted, “Anybody who’s having chest pains – please go to the emergency room. Don’t stop anywhere. Or if someone’s having a high fever, they need to go to the hospital.”

Dr. MacLean advised, “Patients should have a pretty low threshold for reaching out to their doctor, or the nurse or the care team to ask if they’re doing things right or if a certain sign or symptom is something they should be concerned about.”

She noted that confusion with medication is a common reason that people end up getting readmitted. “Patients go in the hospital with one set of medications, they go out with another set and maybe the patient is taking twice as much of the medicine, or something didn’t get restarted that should have been,” she added.

She continued, “When a patient is discharged from the hospital they need to have a good understanding of what the follow-up care plan is, what medications they’re supposed to be taking or not taking, very clearly laid out.”

“Many hospitals have post-acute systems of care in place,” Dr. MacLean said, including HSS. “And prospectively, with any patients who are at higher risk of readmission, we actually reach out to them to make sure they’re doing OK, and we have nurse practitioners and nurses who do some of that outreach.”

Telehealth is another way to extend care beyond the hospital. For instance, HSS@Home is a telehealth-rehab program for patients with hip and knee replacements, run by physical therapists. Nurse practitioners, who are also involved, can help with medication questions or other concerns. With the tele-PT program, Dr. MacLean said, “the thing that’s so wonderful is we remain connected to our patients.”

Read the full article at Health.usnews.com.