Background: Stroke patients and their caregivers require formalized education, medications, testing and rehabilitation to assist in prevention of recurrence and of post-stroke complications for optimal outcomes.
Objective: The purpose of this program was to evaluate the effect of the Stroke Transition Discharge Center (STDC) on stroke readmission.
Methods: The Advanced Practice Nurses (APN) see all stroke and TIA patients one week after discharge from hospital to home or one week after discharge from rehab to home. During the hour encounter, the APN reviews medications, test results, signs and symptoms of stroke, complete education including patient specific risk factors and ensure appropriate follow up. The APN coordinates and facilitates multiple services and disciplines impacting the patient, assuring the most efficient and effective goal-directed activities are provided at the right time and in partnership with all other disciplines providing care.
Results: Implementation of the STDC enhances patient outcomes and improves 30-day readmission rates. Prior to our intervention, the readmission rate was 15.3%. After the implementation of the STDC, there was a 61% reduction in 30-day readmission rates to 6%, which is significantly below the hospital system benchmark of 11%. There was an increase in the readmission rate in the first two quarters of 2016 noted. There is an inverse correlation with the number of patients seen in the STDC during the same time period. Further analysis demonstrates that only one readmission in this time period had been seen prior in the STDC.
Conclusion: Implementing the Stroke Transition Discharge Center demonstrated a dramatic reduction in 30-day readmission rates. Our data suggests that utilization of the clinic and participation by the patients has a direct and inverse effect on readmissions. Further data will need to be collected to determine if this is a sustained response.