Preventing Pneumonia Readmissions Home Care

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readmission reduction programHow to reduce Pneumonia Using Home Care

Readmissions is defined as a return hos­pitalization to an acute care hospital that follows a prior acute care admission within a specified time interval, called the read­mission time interval which is 30 days for the Medicare Readmission penalty.

Nearly 1 million hospital admissions are related to pneumonia. In addition to these high admissions there are approximately 140,000 hospital readmissions due to pneumonia each year. One in five patients who were discharged with the diagnosis of pneumonia will be readmitted within 30 days.

These are examples of how Home care agencies can help reduce pneumonia readmissions:

Monitor A Patients Health- Although Home Care agencies are non medical they are able to observe for the following symptoms upon discharge:

  • Cough, which may produce phlegm
  • Fever, sweating, and Shaking
  • Chest pain when you breathe or cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Confusion
  • Headache

Discharge Plan Adherence- A home care agency can review the discharge plans and ensure that the patient is following these plans to ensure proper recovery and avoid the need for hospital readmission.

Assist With Activities of Daily Living-Upon discharge usually patients are not able to care for themselves due to the fatigue that they have. A home care agency would be able to groom, cook, and perform light household chores until the patient is better.

Prescription Pick Up and Medication Reminders-Hospitals have found that after being readmitted to a hospital the medications that were prescribed during the prior discharge is not on the list of medications which is often one of the reasons for readmissions. A home care agency can pick up the medications and remind the patients to take them to ensure recovery.

Transportation- Some of the patients who are discharged are not healthy enough to take themselves to follow up appointments. A home care agency can transport and attend follow up appointments with the patient.