Ways to Reduce COPD Readmission Rates

Waysto Reduce COPD Readmission Rates

Waysto Reduce COPD Readmission Rates

ChronicObstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used todescribe various progressive lung diseases characterized bybreathlessness. The diseases include refractory asthma, bronchitis,and emphysema. Lately, the rate of hospital readmission for COPDpatients has increased, and it is estimated that nearly 23% ofpatients get readmitted within 30 days of discharge making COPD thefourth leading cause of hospital readmission (For Decision Makers inRespiratory Care, 2012). Various measures can reduce the rate of COPDpatients’ readmission, and this paper will explore the means andaspects in COPD management that would mitigate this rate.

Onemajor aspect is carrying out a study of the causes of readmission.The study should be based on analyzing statistical data with the aimof identifying types and causes of readmission. An accurate researchwill determine where COPD management is failing, how well currentinterventions are working and what needs to be implemented. A medicalfacility incorporating the study aspect will be able to identify whatcauses high readmission at its place and be able to categories theminto readmission due to complications or infections from initialtreatment, readmission owing to poor transition during discharge orreadmission as a result of recurrence of the initial condition. Fromthe study, a hospital would be able to develop aspects of its programthat will address each case as per its category (Center forHealthcare Quality and Payment Reform, n.d.).

Holisticimprovement of hospital treatment and care for COPD is another keyelement (Friedrich, 2015). This element includes various sub-aspectsgeared towards reduction of the rate of admission. Firstly, therewould be an improved coordination of all the involved parties such ashospital administrations, physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists,pharmacists, and dietitians. Coordination resulting from holisticimprovement will develop a continuum care that will enable allparties jointly address patients’ conditions (Friedrich, 2015). Aperson receiving and admitting patients will be able to identifypatients based on their likely hood of readmission. The patientswould thus, be referred to the appropriate physician based on theirmedical needs. Holistic improvement will enable physicians toidentify patients that need longer hospitalization to address theirconditions. Quality care derived from holistic development enableshospitals to involve administrative department, which ensurespatients’ receive even economic understanding. There is the use ofadvanced technology such as software that comes with an overallimprovement in hospital care (Carroll, Edwards, &amp Lashbrook,2011). Risk assessment software enables hospitals to apply theappropriate level of care to different cases. The technology alsoallows hospitals to assess patients’ readiness for discharge.Accurate assessment reduces the rate of readmission. Lastly, theoverall improvement in care ensures that hospitals connect patientswith community care providers. Improved holistic care by hospitalsensures that hospitals have followed –up care about discharge toallow patients comply with recommended treatment.

Developinga smooth transition and discharge plan is another aspect that couldhelp reduce the rate of readmission for COPD patients. A carefullyplanned discharge should start while the patient is hospitalized.This gives medical facilities time to reconcile all prescribedmedication ensuring that patients access them before discharge.Patients are also able to get all the drugs before leaving thehospital. Issues of non-compliance to prescribed medication afterdischarge should be addressed in this aspect. Reasons fornoncompliance are varied, and each should be handled to implementintervention measures for each case. Different reasons fornon-compliance among patients include memory and reasoning deficit,and financial constraints.

Educatingpatients and their families on ways to manage COPD condition formanother significant aspect that should be used in reducingre-hospitalization. At the hospital, patients’ activities areanalyzed, and the patient advised on activities that would raisechances of readmission. Moreover, a patient is advised on riskfactors such as smoking and appropriate diets are prescribed topatients. Training patients should also ensure that patients gettrained on the use of inhalers and actions they should take in casesof emergency. Based on a patient’s level of literacy, a patientmay be given written materials that provide instructions on how tomanage COPD and when to seek medical attention. In this aspect, thehospital can analyze all factors that could increase chances ofreadmission and discuss them with patients.

Useof telemedicine technology to monitor patients is an element thatshould be incorporated. Telemedicine enables hospitals to monitoroutpatients’ physiological parameters. The close monitor of theparameter will enable hospitals to give optimized care to COPDoutpatients. The technology should thus, be encouraged in appropriatesituations to control deteriorating conditions that could lead toreadmission.

Incorporationof Private home-based caregivers is another measure that could beused to reduce the rate of readmission. The private health carecontractors should work hand in hand with patients’ hospitalcaregivers. This would allow the private caregiver access medicalreport and history with health information technology. The abilityof a private physician to access health information will enable themto give a patient standardized care that will compliment him intreatment (Carroll, Edwards, &amp Lashbrook, 2011).

Developmentof a payment system that would discourage payment for servicesoffered during readmission. This aspect should target preventablereadmissions. Hospitals would develop systems that ensure patientsreceive high-quality treatment at initial hospitalization. The systemwould also enable medical practitioners to attend patients and givehigh-quality treatment at the initial contact with a patient (Centerfor Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform, n.d.). A payment systemthat reduces expenditure incurred at readmission stage would enablepatients to save money. The cash would be used to access high-qualitymedication at the initial stage. Patients would even have money toprolong time at the hospital while receiving initial treatment. Goodpayment system would enable many patients to access new specializedservices such as telemedicine. Increased affordability oftelemedicine and many efficient services would reduce the rate ofreadmission. Moreover, good payments systems would improveaccessibility to high-quality medicines. Use of appropriate medicinesand having the ability to access them will reduce readmission amongthe COPD patients.

Thereare several means by which the rate of readmission of COPD patientscan be reduced. However, the first aspect must include a study of thecause and type of readmission. Study requirements arise from the factthat different case studies have different causes. The ways to reducereadmission rate are then applied to cases as per the identifiedcauses. Improving quality of treatment, educating patients and theuse of telemedicine have the potential of reducing the rate ofadmission among the COPD patients. Different cases would requiredifferent approaches. Therefore, it would be of prime importance toaddress each situation with its uniqueness.


Carroll,S.S, Edwards, J.N &amp Lashbrook, A. (2011). ReducingHospital Readmissions Lessons from Top-Performing Hospitals.Retrieved from:http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/Files/Publications/Case%20Study/2011/Apr/1473_SilowCarroll_readmissions_synthesis_web_version.pdf

Centerfor Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform. (n.d.). ReducingHospital Readmissions.Retrieved from: http://www.chqpr.org/readmissions.html

ForDecision Makers in Respiratory Care. (2012). CaseManagement of COPD Patients from Acute to Post-Acute Care Settings.Retrieved from:http://www.rtmagazine.com/2012/08/case-management-of-copd-patients-from-acute-to-post-acute-care-settings/

Friedrich,L.M. (2015). ImprovingPatient Care Outcomes to Reduce Recurrent Admissions of Patients withChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.Retrieved fromhttp://scholarship.shu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1013&ampcontext=finalprojects