Columbia, S.C.,— With an average of one in five Medicare patients returning to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged, the U.S. government has implemented a financial penalty in an effort to reduce the staggering number of readmissions and curb the $17 billion annual cost associated with these. In search of a solution, Providence Hospitals in Columbia, S.C., has partnered with Right at Home, an in-home care and assistance franchise, to develop a new transitional care initiative. The program, which is funded by a two-year grant from the Duke Endowment & Fullerton Foundation, is designed to significantly reduce readmissions by safely assisting the transition of elderly patients from the hospital to their home.
“Hospital readmissions can be dramatically reduced through programs like Right at Home’s care transitions initiative, RightTransitions, decreasing the financial cost to hospitals and the physical and emotional toll on outgoing patients,” said Right at Home of Columbia owner, Charles Brown. “It is imperative to have a professional physically present to assist these fragile patients and to ensure their transition is smooth and seamless after discharge from the hospital.”
Providence Hospitals' Transitional Care Program will be available to patients 65 years of age or older who are identified as being high risk of returning to the hospital within 30 days. This program is based on their specific illness and other criteria such as operative issues, physical disability, and history of falls or cognitive decline.
Providence Hospitals has employed a dedicated Transitional Care Nurse Navigator, Brittany Hudson, RN, BSN, who will work exclusively with these patients to ensure they receive the care they need while in the hospital and after they are discharged. After patients are released, Right at Home will provide professional caregivers to assist them in their homes until they regain strength and become independent.
Brown cites the success of a similar transitional care program at the Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., where hospital readmissions of high-risk Medicare patients were curbed by 65 percent, saving the hospital $1.1 million due to prevented readmissions. “Based on the Forsyth Medical Center program, along with other transitional care models, Providence Hospitals developed this hybrid initiative that will benefit patients by helping them recover more quickly while improving their quality of life,” Brown added. “I find that patients are able to better self-manage their conditions after having one on one assistance and education in their homes,” said Providence Hospital’s Transitional Nurse Navigator Brittany Hudson, RN, BSN.
In-home services covered under the grant include transfers, bathing, toileting, meal preparation, transportation to medical appointments, medication reminders, light housekeeping, laundry and assistance with errands. The level of in-home support provided will be determined by the Navigator as part of a comprehensive assessment which covers the patient’s needs while in the hospital and in their homes. This could mean a caregiver may be needed for a few hours of care on the day the patient is discharged, or alternatively for extended assistance spanning several days. Right at Home continues to introduce new patients each week as well as provide care for existing clients already in the program.
“The goal is that this program will become a best practice for the hospital and become a catalyst for strengthening additional coordination efforts to provide quality medical services across the entire continuum of care within our community,” said Brown. “We have already seen tremendous success with this program at Providence Hospitals and at other Right at Home offices across the country, and we are very optimistic about the positive effect RightTransitions can make on the lives of those we serve.”
About Right at Home
The Right at Home, Columbia, SC is a locally owned and operated franchise office of Right at Home, Inc., serving the communities of Lexington, Richland and Kershaw Counties. Founded in 1995, Right at Home offers in-home companionship and personal care and assistance to seniors and disabled adults who want to continue to live independently. Local Right at Home offices are independently owned and operated and directly employ and supervise all caregiving staff, each of whom is thoroughly screened, trained, bonded and insured prior to entering a client’s home. Right at Home’s global office is based in Omaha, Nebraska, with nearly 300 franchise offices located in 42 states nationwide and throughout the world. For more information on Right at Home, visit About Right at Home at https://www.rightathome.net/about-us or read the Right at Home caregiving blog at http://www.rightathome.net/blog. To sign up for Right at Home’s free adult caregiving e-newsletter, Caring Right at Home, visit http://caringnews.com
About Providence Hospitals:
Providence Hospitals is the Midlands leading provider of cardiovascular and orthopaedics services. Providence is composed of two hospitals, twelve physician practices, a network of rehabilitation centers, two sleep centers, a school of cardiac diagnostics and is an accredited chest pain center. In total, Providence employs over 2,000 dedicated staff.
Founded in 1938 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Augustine, Providence is known state wide for outstanding clinical quality and compassionate care. The Providence open heart surgery program has ranked consistently in the top 10% of open heart programs for the past four and one-half years. Both the orthopaedics and cardiac services have received the South Carolina Blue Cross center of distinction designation. For more information, visit our web site at www.providencehospitals.com.
About The Duke Endowment:
The Duke Endowment, located in Charlotte, N.C., seeks to fulfill the legacy of James B. Duke by improving lives and communities in the Carolinas through higher education, health care, rural churches and children’s services. Since its inception, the Endowment has awarded $2.9 billion in grants.