Avoiding Hospital Readmission

Coming Home from the Hospital- And Staying Home

One in five Medicare patients admitted to the hospital returns to the hospital within 30 days1. Many of these return trips are preventable.

What is a hospital readmission?

A hospital readmission refers to a patient being admitted in to a hospital, typically within 30 days of being released from a previous hospital stay. A readmission to a hospital can be both costly, as well as hazardous to your health. Following the proper procedures after being discharged will help you steer clear of another visit.

Avoiding a return trip

If you were recently in the hospital, you received a lot of care from doctors and nurses. But now it’s time to focus on caring for yourself at home. Follow these tips to reduce your chances of facing readmission:

Mind your medications

When leaving the hospital, ask these questions:

  • What new medications do I need? What are they used for?
  • How do I take each medication? When do I take it?
  • What side effects could I experience and what should I do?
  • What changes are there to the medications I was taking before being in the hospital?

Be sure you take medications as directed. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

See Your Doctor

You or a family member should call your doctor to make a follow-up appointment within the first week of discharge from the hospital. Follow-up visits are important to monitor your progress, answer questions, and prevent problems from developing.

Follow Care Instructions

Your doctor will have given you instructions about follow-up care after your hospital visit. Following these is an important part of avoiding readmission. Be sure to ask questions if you are unsure about any of the guidelines.

1. β€œA Path Forward on Medicare Readmissions.” K. Joynt, A. Jha. N Engl J Med. March 2013, vol. 368, pp. 1175–77. DOI: 10.1056/
NEJMp1300122.

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