COLUMBUS, Miss. — A program started by Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle on the hospital’s Progressive Care Unit one year ago to improve the care of patients as they transition from hospital to home or another facility and to help reduce the number unplanned readmissions to the hospital will soon be rolled out to two additional patient floors and the hospital’s critical care unit.
The hospital was selected last year to participate in the Society of Hospital Medicine’s year-long Project BOOST, (Better Outcomes for Older adults through Safe Transitions) Mentoring Program.
As part of Project BOOST, upon admission, a case manager assesses each patient’s individual risk for re-hospitalization by identifying if the patient meets any of eight high risk criteria for readmission such as needing palliative care, taking eight medications or more on a routine basis, or having a history of depression or mental illness.
The discharge process is also customized by working with the patient and his or her family to ensure the patient understands his or her diagnosis and prescribed medications and to confirm follow-up care after hospitalization.
Typically, the patient receives follow-up calls from a case manager at two, seven, 14 and 28 days to verify such information as if he or she was able to get their prescriptions filled or get follow-up appointments scheduled; or if they are getting home health, if prescribed by their physician. Problems with any of these issues can lead to unplanned readmission within 30 days, said Kim Criswell, Baptist Golden Triangle’s director of case management.
“In light of healthcare reform, case management now has the primary goal of being the patient’s advocate for safe transitions throughout the continuum of care,” said Criswell. The RN case managers and social workers promote self management through patient and family involvement and ownership in their disease process.”
Case managers and social workers cover every inpatient unit in the facility as well as the emergency department. Every patient admitted is seen and followed by the case management department. Social workers provide assistance to those in need of service in the outpatient areas as well. According to a 2009 study, one in five patients is readmitted within 30 days of discharge. Baptist Golden Triangle is among more than 100 hospitals nationwide that have participated in Project BOOST, reducing unplanned readmissions rates and improving patient care.
“Baptist Golden Triangle is very excited to be a part of this opportunity to improve the quality of transitions in care from the hospital to the community. No one wants to be in the hospital, and it is our goal to make it possible for patients to have a safe discharge back into the community that allows them to remain with their families and friends,” Criswell added.
Baptist Golden Triangle is one of only two hospitals in the Memphis, Tenn.-based Baptist Memorial Health Care System selected to participate in the original BOOST program.
Baptist Golden Triangle has physicians and surgeons representing almost every medical specialty practicing at the hospital and offers a wide range of comprehensive medical care to patients of all ages.
The hospital offers a variety of services to the community, including Baptist Cancer Center Golden Triangle, Baptist Behavioral Health Care – Golden Triangle for those with behavioral and mental health problems, an emergency room with 24-hour ambulance service, an extensive rehabilitation department and educational programs. Baptist Golden Triangle employs more than 1,000 health care professionals.