Thursday, January 10th, 2013
Dr. Harlan Krumholz has written a thoughtful perspective on the battle of hospital readmissions. He explains that healthcare workers will need to explore new approaches to making hospitalization less toxic and to promote the safe passage of patients from acute care settings.
Here is an excerpt from that article:
To promote successful recovery after a hospitalization, health care professionals often focus on issues related to the acute illness that precipitated the hospitalization. Their disproportionate attention to the hospitalization's cause, however, may be misdirected. Patients who were recently hospitalized are not only recovering from their acute illness; they also experience a period of generalized risk for a range of adverse health events. Thus, their condition may be better characterized as a post-hospital syndrome, an acquired, transient period of vulnerability. This theory would suggest that the risks in the critical 30-day period after discharge might derive as much from the allostatic and physiological stress that patients experience in the hospital as they do from the lingering effects of the original acute illness. At the time of discharge, physiological systems are impaired, reserves are depleted, and the body cannot effectively defend against health threats.
Read more in The New England Journal of Medicine by clicking here. Please share your thoughts below.