Date published: February 1, 2010
Hospitals could save thousands of dollars by a reduction in hospital re-admissions through adopting a post-discharge program that offers individual support, including nursing and physiotherapy services.
A study published in international journal Public Library of Science (PLoS ONE) showed hospitals would save $333 per patient if they invested $547 per eligible patient in a 24-week postdischarge care program.
The program includes nursing and physiotherapy assessment, an at home visit, and exercise schedule and oneon-one phone contact.
The randomised controlled trial was conducted by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) School of Nursing and Midwifery's Professor Mary Courtney and showed a reduction in emergency hospital re-admissions among the intervention group (22% compared to 47%).
The study also showed significantly less emergency GP visits (25% enrolled in the post-discharge program compared to 67% not enrolled).
QUT health economist Associate Professor Nick Graves said in addition to cost savings the intervention group showed significantly greater improvements in quality of life. A dollar valuation on improved quality of life as a result of the program came to an estimated overall cost saving of close to $8,000 per person.
SOURCE: ANJ, Dec 09/Jam 10, Volume 17 Number 6