• Rising Readmission Rates: A national issue

      Anderson, Elaine
      Recently there has been a rise in hospital readmission rates. As a result of this increase in readmissions, the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) was implemented to assist in reducing hospital readmissions. This was done by penalizing hospitals for readmissions associated with the Medicare population. Prior to this research, the effect of this legislation on the readmission rate was unknown. Additionally, the different aspects or factors that contributed to an individual’s risk for being readmitted were unclear. Also it was uncertain how a high verses low nurse-to-patient ratio would affect patient outcomes and the readmission rate. Finally, the effects of being hospitalized on the patient were unknown. Both subjective and objective data were evaluated for this research. After extensive research it was found that the readmission rate was declining slightly, but it was still unclear whether the ACA was the cause for this decline. Additionally, it was uncovered that the main factors that contributed to being readmitted included: age, disease, literacy barriers, community support, medication and quality of care. Furthermore, high nurse-to-patient ratios contributed to an increase in a hospital’s readmission rate as a result of a decrease in the quality of care given by the nurse. Finally it was concluded that patients that experience high stress levels are at a greater risk for being readmitted and post invasive care syndrome often occurs post-discharge. In order to prevent readmission it is necessary to collaborate with other health professions to meet the unique needs of each patient.