Effects of a Post-Discharge Telephone Follow-up Call on Psychiatric Readmission Rates
AuthorGorey, Michelle L.
AdvisorCosta, Linda L.
MetadataShow full item record
Other TitlesPost-Discharge Phone Call
AbstractProblem & Purpose: Preventing early psychiatric readmissions presents a significant challenge to inpatient psychiatric units. Thirty-day readmission rates continue to rise using a significant amount of resources and increasing hospital costs. An inpatient psychiatric unit specializing in treating severe mental illness has a high readmission rate (20%). A quality improvement (QI) project was designed to reduce inpatient psychiatric readmission rates. The purpose of this QI project was to implement a nurse-led follow-up phone call within 72 hours post-discharge to identify issues related to patient understanding and ability to adhere to discharge plans. Identification of barriers encountered in the follow-up plan and early resolutions was posited to reduce thirty-day readmission rates. Methods: Psychiatric nurses in a 24-bed adult high acuity unit were educated to conduct post-discharge phone calls using a detailed script tailored to the organization. A corresponding documentation tool evaluating data collected on medication reconciliation, confirmed follow- up appointment, the patient’s medication regime, and the patient's understanding of discharge instructions was assessed and an intervention during the call was provided as needed. Night shift RNs audited the documentation tool. The phone call was to be completed on each patient discharging over a twelve-week period. Phone call and audit completions were tracked weekly and thirty-day readmission rates were tracked monthly. Results: Findings suggest the use of a post-discharge phone call was a successful intervention that can be adopted on psychiatric units. Phone call and audit completions reached the goal of 100%. This indicates nurses were able to accommodate the extra tasks without disrupting the milieu. Thirty-day readmission rates decreased 2% compared to the same time in the year prior. Conclusions: Post-discharge phone calls is a cost effective intervention that has shown to be a successful in reducing thirty-day readmission rates in this psychiatric settings. Future QI projects should consider this intervention in different psychiatric specialties.
Keywordpost-discharge phone call
Psychiatric Department, Hospital