Successful hospital readmission reduction initiatives: Top five strategies to consider implementing today

Bita A. Kash, Juha Baek, Ohbet Cheon, Nana E. Coleman, Stephen L. Jones


Only one quarter of U.S. hospitals demonstrated low enough levels of 30 day readmission rates to avoid penalties imposed by the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) in 2016. Previous work describes interventions for reducing hospital readmission rates; however, without a comprehensive analysis of these interventions, healthcare leaders cannot prioritize strategies for implementation within their healthcare environment. This comparative study identifies the most effective interventions to reduce unplanned 30-day readmissions. The MEDLINE-PubMed database was used to conduct a systematic review of existing literature about interventions for 30-day readmission reduction published from 2006 through 2017. Data were extracted on hospital type, setting, disease type, intervention type, study sample, and impact level. Of 4,886 citations, 508 articles were reviewed in full-text, and 90 articles met the inclusion criteria. Based on the three analytic methodologies of means, weighted means, and pooled estimated impact level, the most effective interventions to reduce unplanned 30-day admissions were identified as collaboration with clinical teams and/or community providers, post-discharge home visits, telephone follow-up calls, patient/family education, and discharge planning. Commonly, all five interventions identify patient level engagement for success. The findings reveal the need for shared accountability towards desired outcomes among health systems, providers, and patients while providing hospital leaders with actionable strategies that can effectively reduce 30-day readmission rates.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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