Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital Reduces Re-admissions by 58% using Email Approach to care Coordination
According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Accountable Care, using an email-based approach to care coordination can not only enhance outcomes as well as provider satisfaction, but can also have a profoud impact on readmissions.
Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital as well as the University of California San Francisco Family Medicine Inpatient Service, both part of the San Francisco Health Network, piloted a secure e-mail system in a test in which around 1,300 patients participated & started to get positive results during its second year.
Around 86 percent of outpatient primary care doctors said that they have received discharge details within a day or two, while around 82 percent said that the email system enhanced communication with inpatient physicians. Another 72 percent said that scheduling follow-ups became easier while a whopping 93 percent suggested that all hospital services should adopt a similar care transition system.
As readmissions can be reduced by nearly 58 percent if a patient follows up with primary care physician shortly after discharge, physicians having this information will be able to lower cost for the health system as well as improve patient quality. Currently the federal government penalizes hospitals financially if they do not meet certain readmissions-related standards.
According to the researchers, the email-based solution is also cost-effective as it does not need any expensive or complicated technologies or extensive training. What is does is provide an electronic record that the providers in each setting can monitor.
The benefit to patients, for now, is an increased ability to understand the ins & outs of post-discharge care, as well as better patient satisfaction & a more streamlined process.