New evidence shows that there is a significant opportunity for continued improvement in communication and care coordination in hospitals' efforts to reduce readmissions. According to authors of a study published July 18 in Journal of American College of Cardiology, the linking of inpatient and postdischarge (eg, outpatient, home care, or skilled nursing facility) providers and information is "central to effective continuity of care."
Physical therapists (PTs) serve an important role in patient care transitions and care coordination and can help reduce readmissions by providing recommendations for the most appropriate level of care to the health care team prior to and during care transitions. Additionally, APTA's position Physical Therapist of Record and "Hand Off" Communication supports communication practices that improve patient/client safety. For more information on the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, which begins in 2013, and to find clinical practice and patient education resources to reduce readmissions, visit APTA's Hospital Readmissions webpage.
Free full-text of Contemporary Evidence about Hospital Strategies for Reducing 30-Day Readmissions is available in Journal of American College of Cardiology. Highlights of the study are available from the Commonwealth Fund.