When case managers are looking at patients who are frequently readmitted to their facility within 30 days of their last discharge, chances are they'll find a lot of chronic heart failure (CHF) patients among them. That's because CHF patients typically have a higher readmission rate than any other disease, says Jan Lear, RN, CMC, director of case management at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center (MFSMC) in Baltimore.
One of the riskiest times for patients comes when they are leaving the hospital and heading home or to aftercare. This is the time when medications are mixed up, follow-up doctors' appointments are missed, or discharge instructions get lost in the fax machine. Poor handoffs with poor communication can lead to unnecessary readmissions.