Using Post-Discharge Telephone Follow-Up by Nephrology Nurses to Reduce 30-Day Readmissions and Post-Discharge Complications for Adult Patients on Hemodialysis

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Abstract

Hospital readmissions are responsible for considerable health care costs. About 35% of patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) who are hospitalized are readmitted within 30 days of discharge (United States Renal Data System, 2017). Studies point to the considerable percentage of readmissions that are preventable through effective discharge planning and patient follow-up after discharge (Mistiaen & Poot, 2006). Telephone follow up is a high-quality, low-cost method of providing discharge follow up. This project examined the effectiveness of an evidence-based quality improvement process in providing post-discharge telephone follow up to adult patients on hemodialysis by experienced nephrology nurses through standardized unit workflow and leveraging of the electronic medical record (EMR). Results indicated a lower percentage of admissions from the emergency department (59.9% pre- vs. 55.4% post-intervention) and a lower percentage of 30-day readmissions (28.4% pre- vs. 24.6% post-intervention).

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