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Hospitalizations

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Nursing home residents are often transferred to hospitals when they have an acute change in their clinical condition. Many such changes in condition can be managed safely without transfer, avoiding the trauma and risks associated with hospitalization. In order to achieve this goal, nursing home staff must be prepared and have the necessary resources available. Working on this goal will assist nursing home staff to safely care for residents on-site using evidence-based and expert recommended tools and practices to reduce rates of hospitalization without compromising residents’ well-being or wishes.

How does reducing hospitalizations safely benefit residents?
  • Residents receive timely care from staff members who know the resident and who are able to respond to the resident’s individual preferences and needs.
  • Residents remain in a familiar environment with their personal possessions and maintain their routines as much as possible.
  • Residents avoid an uncomfortable, often traumatic, trip to the hospital, and potentially long delays in the hospital’s emergency room.
  • Residents avoid adverse events that can occur due to miscommunication between the hospital and the nursing home.
  • Residents avoid adverse effects that can occur due to a change in their medication regimen.
  • Residents avoid acquiring a hospital-related complication.
  • Residents are not confused by changes in utilization review or reimbursement procedures.
How does reducing hospitalizations safely benefit staff?
  • Staff members are more satisfied and thus more likely to stay.
  • Staff are more skilled and confident in care delivery and better able to identify changes in condition and learn evidence-based care practices.
  • Staff are able to maintain connection with the resident that is often lost once a hospital transfer is made.
  • Staff are able to provide continuous support to the resident and family members.
  • Staff are able to practice at a level for which they are trained and licensed.
How does reducing hospitalizations safely benefit nursing homes?
  • Nursing homes better maintain census as a result of increased referrals from hospitals due to better resident outcomes.
  • Nursing homes have better customer satisfaction and improved community image.
  • Nursing homes save time and money because work associated with hospitalizations and readmissions are eliminated.
  • Nursing homes will meet the national Partnership for Patients efforts and Quality Assurance Performance Improvement (QAPI) requirements by reducing transfers to the hospital.
  • Nursing homes will prepare for payment reform and partnering with hospitals, home health agencies and others in accountable care organizations and other similar initiatives.