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Improvement in Readmissions

Programs help patients stay out of the hospital

As much as we enjoy treating our patients, they’d like to see less of us. Hospitals like Barnes-Jewish are working harder to give patients what they want by focusing energy and effort on lowering readmission rates.

There are many reasons why patients experience unplanned readmissions. Some patients don’t have access to medications or may not have a primary care physician to see after they are discharged from the hospital.

Barnes-Jewish has spent the last several years developing a number of programs to help reduce readmissions including:

  • Mobile pharmacy
  • Stay Healthy Clinic
  • Discharge package

In 2013, we met our goal of reducing short-term readmissions to 19 percent of our discharged patients; a large part was due to these programs.

Stay Healthy Clinic helps patients avoid readmissions, ER visits

Some patients find it difficult to stay healthy after they leave the hospital. Often, these patients are elderly and have chronic illnesses, which puts them at higher risk for readmission.

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Mobile Pharmacy connects patients with vital medications before leaving the hospital

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Americans with chronic medical conditions earned a troubling C+ in the first National Report Card on prescription medication adherence from the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) – a weak score, given the risks and costs of failing to take prescription medications as directed.

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New discharge package captures care team notes in one location

When patients come to Barnes-Jewish, they often are treated by several physicians and a multidisciplinary care team. It’s important for all members of the care team to be able to provide input and information that can be shared with the patient, as well as their primary care or referring physician, when the patient is discharged.

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