21. June 2011 10:30
The USA Today reports on a Harvard University study shows that providing patients with more information about their conditions and better managing their medications can "slow the revolving door of Medicare patients in and out of hospitals by about 20%".
A earlier study showed that 1 in 5 Medicare patients are readmitted to hospital within 30 days of a previous admission. Moreover, Medicare currently spend $17 billion a year to pay for patients who are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of their last stay.
Researchers found that patients' doctors often did not have a complete list of medications that their other doctors had prescribed them. Without this information, the doctors were at risk to prescribe drugs that react badly with the patient's other medications.
Randi Berkowitz, a geriatrics instructor at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, said that patients did not understand the care they were receiving or needed... They think they're sicker than they are, or they don't understand how sick they are."
By Kelly Kennedy
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