Researchers identify 12 steps for effectively reducing readmissions

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

April 3, 2013


The 12 steps of the Re-engineered Discharge (RED) toolkit published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) are effective at reducing readmissions and visits to the emergency department following discharge, according to researchers at Boston University Medical Center. Researchers also updated the set of steps for reducing readmissions, including a new component for overcoming language barriers. RED led to a 30% reduction in hospitalization utilization within 30 days of discharge and a 34% reduction in costs per patient within the same time period, according to researchers.

The 12 actions for reducing readmissions are as follows:

1.     Determine the need for and obtain language assistance

2.     Make appointments for follow-up care, including medical appointments and post-discharge tests

3.     Plan to follow up on results of tests of labs pending at the time of discharge

4.     Organize post-discharge outpatient services and medical equipment

5.     Identify the correct medicines and a plan for the patient to obtain them

6.     Reconcile the discharge plan with national guidelines

7.     Teach a written discharge plan the patient can understand

8.     Educate the patient about his or her diagnosis and medicines

9.     Review options for dealing with problems with the patient

10. Assess the degree of the patient’s understanding of the discharge plan

11. Expedited transmission of the discharge summary to clinicians accepting care of the patient

12. Reinforce the discharge plan via telephone

Source: Fierce Healthcare