In daily life, delays in patient discharge from hospitals are a grueling inconvenience; to people, families and staff. Yet closer review and analysis of statistics of the domino effects of delayed patient discharge reveals that this issue is way more than an inconvenience. According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) , figures from NHS England show that more than a million hospitals days were lost due to discharges over the past year. Further in the month of September 2015 over 5,300 patients were delayed from being discharged.
Another concern related to hospital discharge processes, says NICE, is ensuring that patients receive the most appropriate services when they are discharged from the hospital. This, NICE notes. has a "crucial" effect on a person's well being. It can speed up their recovery and ensure they are not readmitted because they are not receiving the right support at home. A relatively quick readmission after a discharge only complicates the rehabilitation process with increased stress for people and staff.
In response to this growing issue, NICE recommends that a single health or social care practitioner should be made responsible for coordinating a person's discharge. This discharge coordinator they say, should be the central point of contact for health and social practitioners, the person and their family during discharge planning. Additionally, NICE recommends that while planning the discharge, the discharge coordination should share assessments and updates on the person's health, status, including medicines information, with both hospital and community-based teams.
To facilitate the recommendations made by NICE, and enable a seamless discharge process, it would be ideal if a patient's medical history, assessments, outcomes were easily available in a platform which could be shared, accessed and updated as necessary by the discharge coordinator, medical practitioners and the patients home-care providers. Such a platform would not only ensure that the vital information necessary to plan the patient's discharge was easily available, but would also ensure that home-care providers have at their finger tips all information related to the patient's outcomes, areas of focus, assessments and needs, which would enable quicker recovery, reducing the chance of readmission and of course reducing hospital costs associated with this patient, in the event of a relapse.
This is exactly the type of technology which AssessPatients' e-health solution puts within easy reach for all individuals involved in the care of a patient.
With its capability to provide a digitally enabled pathway for older care and a capability to securely pass information to the relevant community based care system, AssessPatients' platform supports an integrated discharge to community care pathway with the following feature:
- A detailed multidisciplinary care assessment incorporating different care needs such as frailty, falls, dementia, stroke , quality of living etc
- A current set of care outcomes including what has been achieved and what is in progress
- An ability to securely provide all of this information to the community care team
- and an ability for both the hospital and community teams to share and plan specific discharges.
Of additional value to hospitals is the fact that AssessPatients' dashboard is able to provide advanced notice on numbers of patients due for discharge and their care needs.
If you are involved in health care administration and are currently considering options available to reduce patient discharge time and costs, please contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to discuss further how our e-health solution can boost efficiency and reduce adminitrative time and costs.