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At least when it comes to acute myocardial infarction and heart failure, U.S. hospitals are falling short in adopting practices that could keep patients from bouncing back, according to a study published this month in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Researchers surveyed more than 500 hospitals and found that less than 3% of them had adopted all 10 of the practices recommended for cutting AMI and HF-related readmissions. On average, hospitals had adopted about half of them. Check out these choice quotes from the study:
Sorry, but those “factors” just sound like excuses to me. Of course everybody’s busy, and of course care coordination is complex, and of course resources are scarce. When has it ever been otherwise? Finding a solution anyway – establishing and standardizing processes to ensure things don’t fall through the cracks – is what quality improvement’s all about.
Everyone knows the stakes when it comes to reducing 30-day readmissions. I’m starting to wonder, though, if the financial pain of a high readmission rate has to become more than theoretical for some hospitals to finally and fully commit to tackling the problem.