“Hospital discharge: It’s one of the most dangerous periods for patients”

This article by Kaiser Health News (KHN) stresses that the time after hospital discharge is a dangerous period. “Bad coordination often plagues patients’ transition to the care of home health agencies, as well as to nursing homes and other professionals charged with helping them recuperate, studies show.” The example given in this article, published in the Washington Post, is of a woman who died as a result of medication mistakes made by a pharmacy technician and two RNs at a home health agency.

The article mentions a few other danger-points worth repeating:

  • “At hospitals, federal data show that fewer than half of patients say they’re confident that they understand the instructions of how to care for themselves after discharge.”
  • “In nursing homes, case management frequently comes up short. A 2013 government report found more than a third of facilities did not properly assess patients’ needs, devise a plan for their care and then follow through on that.”
  • “And at home health agencies, where failures to create and execute a care plan are the most common issues government inspectors identify, followed by deficient medication review, according to KHN’s analysis.”

See: www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/04/29/from-hospital-to-home-a-dangerous-transition-for-many-patients/