Brattleboro Memorial Hospital announced it has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care, Inc. (VPQ) in recognition of efforts to develop a program that would reduce unnecessary hospital readmission. In addition, VPQ has cited BMH’s comprehensive program and will highlight the hospital’s work in the VPQ annual report this summer.
VPQ challenged all Vermont hospitals to initiate a program that would reduce the risk of hospital readmission,specifically by providing disease management education and support to patients and their families. Additionally hospitals were asked to develop strategies to assist in the transition of a patient’s care to their outpatient providers. Each Vermont hospital that documented increased success received the grant. A task force, led by Michele M. Rowland, RN, Executive Director of Quality, Utilization and Care Management, Dr. Aida Avdic, MD, Program Director/ Hospitalist Services and Carolyn Taylor–Olson, MD, Director/ Post-Acute Care Services working with various department clinical staff reviewed patient data,identifying reasons for readmission and designing initiatives to reduce these factors.
Preventing unnecessary hospital readmission is a focal point of new federal healthcare regulations. Approximately 1 in 5 Medicare patients return to an acute care hospital within 30 days of being discharged, and 1 in 3 are readmitted within 90 days. “Avoidable readmissions increase total health care expenditures, and usually reflect gaps in communication and our failure to identify and maximize a patient and family’s strengths. To successfully prevent readmission we must be committed to a multifaceted approach and patient centered care along with effective communication and collaboration,” says Rowland.
The Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care, Inc. (VPQ) was created in 1988 by a coalition of health care providers, payers, employers and consumers as an independent, non-profit corporation. In 1989, the Vermont legislature recognized VPQ’s role in improving healthcare quality and Vermont’s Peer Review Committee statute was amended to specifically designate the Vermont Program for Quality and Health Care as an independent, non-regulatory, peer review committee.