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Stephen O'Connor

By: Stephen O'Connor on November 26th, 2014

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4 Ways Hospitals Can Reduce Readmission Rates with EHR Software

Electronic Health Records

4-Ways-Hospitals-Can-Reduce-Readmission-Rates-with-EHR-SoftwareHospital administrators are always on the lookout for methods to run their facilities more efficiently and improve the care they provide to each patient. One of the leading indicators of how well a hospital is doing its core tasks is the rate of readmission.

Discharging patients at the appropriate time and ensuring that they are only sent home with the proper support in place for recovery are important issues that administrators strive to address. Here are four ways hospitals can reduce readmission rates using electronic health record software.

1. Support for Discharge Coaches

Your discharge coaches have one of the most important tasks in patient care after the surgeons and nurses fulfill their primary roles. With an EHR system implemented, coaches can help patients make the transition from hospital to home go more smoothly.

The secret to success with EHR applications is that medical professionals can organize all pertinent information in a single location. The discharge coach will be able to access care notes for the patient directly from the medical record.

2. Easier Discharge Instructions for Patients

Whether your patient has been to the hospital many times, or if this is the first time he or she is being discharged, clear instructions are of the utmost importance during discharge. A number of details typically need to be included in the instructions, which you can collect from the EHR system automatically.

If instructions are not clear or are missing key details because of human error, there is a stronger possibility that the patient will have to come back to the hospital for readmission. Information from the hospital’s EHR system will go a long way toward cutting down on such problems.

3. Setting up Tests and Follow-Up Appointments

Because all patient information is easily summoned with the EHR application, professionals can use it to arrange for follow-up calls to check on patients’ status and progress.

Staying in contact during the early days after release from the hospital are crucial for keeping readmission rates as low as possible. Your staff will also find EHR software is useful for quickly arranging post-surgical care appointments for patients.

4. Increase Patient Compliance with Prescription Drugs Instructions

It can be bewildering for patients as they sort out what medications to take and on what kind of schedule after they come home from a procedure or treatment at the hospital. They may be taking new medicines or substituting medicines for older prescriptions. Complications include having to adjust to a new schedule for taking pills and timing their consumption with food (as well as being aware of contraindicated foods and other medications).

You can use EHR software to coordinate prescriptions with the patient’s pharmacy and generate clear instructions to patients on using the medications. When you impress upon patients the importance of sticking to their medication schedule, you can reduce readmission rates more effectively.

Savvy hospital administrators will do their due diligence and investigate how they can reduce their readmission rates through the use of EHR software. Failure to take advantage of the latest software and hardware solutions in a hospital setting could prove to make the difference between merely getting by and actually thriving as a healing center in the community.

Key Takeaway

  • Readmission rates are an indicator of hospital effectiveness that prudent administrators will want to keep an eye on.
  • Implementing an electronic health record software solution is crucial for lowering readmission rates.
  • Use your EHR system to help you produce the most appropriate discharge instruction notes for patients.
  • With EHR, your staff can arrange appointments post-discharge much more easily.
  • Discharge coaches will find EHR software a welcome assistant in performing their daily tasks.


About Stephen O'Connor

As a Director of Digital Marketing at Advanced Data Systems Corporation, Stephen spends his day's planning, writing, & designing resources for the modern healthcare professional. He has a strong affinity for snow crab legs, the ocean, and Rutgers Football.