The Role Of The Nurse Leader

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The Role of the Nurse Leader in Quality
Preventable hospital readmissions remain among one of the many serious quality issues plaguing the healthcare industry today. Readmissions can carry fiscal implications, impact patient safety, and outcomes of care (Helm, Alaeddini, Bretthauer, & Skolarus, 2016). The cost of unplanned hospital readmissions is estimated to be upwards of $15 billion dollars annually of which $12 billion has been associated with preventable admissions (Helm et al., 2016). It is highly recognized that as many as 20% of Medicare beneficiaries are presently being readmitted within 30 days of discharge (Hunter, Nelson, & Birmingham, 2013; Verhaegh, Mac-Neil-Vroomen, Eslami, Geerlings, de Rooij, et al., 2014). The presence of
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Posing the question: what else can be done to keep patients from returning to the ED for care and consequently being readmitted? (K. Larry, personal communication, March 15, 2017).
How Were Readmissions Measured
Ms. Larry stated that reviewers measured the total number of patients presenting to the ED within 30 days of a hospitalization (personal communication, March 15, 2017). Additionally, she said they compared the patient’s ED diagnosis to the previous admission and discharge diagnosis (K. Larry, personal communication, March 15, 2017). Finally, reviewers correlated readmissions with the following information: site of hospitalization, type of admission (i.e. surgical, medical, or behavioral health), the complexity of the hospitalization, and the age of the patient (K. Larry, personal communication, March 15, 2017). After obtaining the necessary data, Ms. Larry stated that reviewers worked on determining the frequency of post-discharge ED visits resulting in readmissions and the factors associated with each ED visit (personal communication, March 15, 2017).
MTF Action Plan
With a goal to obtain a 33% reduction in ED utilization by recently discharged patients, the MTF devised the following strategies to facilitate care transitions and improve communication from inpatient units to clinics and between clinics and patients (K. Larry, personal communication, March 15, 2017). Collectively the interventions were recognized locally as Project Red Light
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