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VCSQI Readmissions Protocol

VCSQI Readmissions Protocol

The  "VCSQI Readmissions Protocol" provides a comprehensive guide developed by the Virginia Cardiac Services Quality Initiative (VCSQI) to minimize hospital readmissions following heart surgery. Authored by Mohammed Quader, Denise Cox, Jennifer Whaley, and Eddie Fonner, this protocol details practical measures that healthcare facilities can adopt to reduce readmissions, which are a significant financial burden on the healthcare system.

 

The protocol emphasizes the crucial role of a Discharge Planner in coordinating patient care before, during, and after hospitalization. It outlines specific interventions grouped into three phases: Before Surgery, After Surgery, and After Discharge, each with detailed actions aimed at addressing various risk factors and optimizing patient outcomes.

 

Key strategies include:

  • Risk factor identification and optimization of pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and heart failure before surgery.
  • Comprehensive post-operative management, including extended monitoring for high-risk patients and engagement of the patient and family in education on medication and care procedures.
  • Post-discharge follow-up to ensure prescriptions are filled, and instructions are understood, alongside early enrollment in cardiac rehab and remote monitoring where necessary.

 

The document also introduces advanced interventions like home monitoring and a dedicated minor procedure room in the clinic for continuous care. These strategies are designed to standardize care across surgeons and reduce variability, further decreasing the likelihood of readmission.

 

This protocol is an invaluable resource for medical professionals looking to enhance the quality of cardiac care and reduce readmissions effectively. It serves as a guide to implementing a structured readmission reduction program that can significantly impact patient recovery and healthcare costs.

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