The Obama administration, is working with hospitals, physician services providers, healthcare industry organizations, and the Department of Health and Human Services, for the purpose of improving patient safety. The Obama administration is investing $1 billion in health system reform money to contribute to these efforts, according to the American Medical News.
“Throughout this voluntary, goal-oriented initiative, physicians will be encouraged to do everything they can to reduce adverse events and reduce readmissions,” said AMA President Cecil B. Wilson, MD. “For instance, we know that if we ensure that a patient’s primary care physician receives their discharge papers within 24 hours of their release from the hospital, the likelihood of hospital readmission will be reduced.”
The program, Partnership for Patients, is geared toward the prevention of hospital-acquired conditions, thus lowering a chunk of readmission rates. Since the groups’ efforts align with those of the American College of Cardiology, they joined.Hopes are that readmission rates are decreased by 20%, by the year 2013. Five key strategies, as outlined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are listed below:
- Increasing patient training and self-care skills before patients leave the hospital.
- Sharing plans of care across inpatient and outpatient settings.
- Standardizing communication exchanged between physicians and other health professionals caring for patients.
- Improving medication reconciliation and safe medication practices.
- Establishing that the health professional initiating a hand off maintains responsibility for the patient until he or she receives confirmation that the transfer is complete.
Hopefully, there will be a positive increase in United States hospital-treated patients, who can attest to having received safe, and quality patient care, as a result of these efforts.