Streamlining Data Decreases Preventable Readmissions

    • April 8, 2013

Intervention Title:
Putting the “IT” in Team to Improve Patient Care

Newton-Wellesley Hospital was able to decrease 30-day all cause readmission rates from nearly 14 percent in January 2011 to 7.7 percent in January 2013.

Newton-Wellesley Hospital
2014 Washington Street
Newton, MA 02462

Newton-Wellesley Hospital is a 284-bed community teaching medical center located outside of Boston. The hospital had approximately 60,000 emergency room and 20,000 inpatients visits annually. 

Cheryl Bardetti, R.N., B.S.N.
Interim Manager Quality and Infection Control
P: (617) 243-6163

Innovation implementation:
In 2011, Newton-Wellesley Hospital (NWH) implemented a variety of initiatives focused on improving its discharge process. Two critical components of the project included streamlining its data collection and enhancing communication between hospital staff.

Prior to beginning the project patient discharge information was not recorded and stored in one central location, causing nurses to often record duplicate information. NWH implemented an information system tool called Discharge Planning/Pre-Admission Medication List (DP/PAML) module which was used to assist with obtaining an accurate pre-admission medication list and streamline the discharge documentation for the medical, nursing and case management staff.

Incorporated into this new online system was a link so nurses could access its ‘teach back’ module – an educational tool to evaluate the patient's comprehension around discharge instructions. NWH implemented “teach back” among its staff to help close the gap of communication between clinician and patient. This process helped to confirm a patient, or their designated support person identified on admission, understood the discharge instructions.

Based on the data collected by NWH staff, the hospital was able to reduce its all cause readmissions rates by 5 percent in the course of a 22 month period. The hospital continues to make ongoing quality improvements such as establishing an integrated case management program (iCMP) for high-risk patients within its Physician Hospital Organization (PHO).