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3 Factors that improve patient outcomes

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Healthcare leaders are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve patient outcomes, especially preventing unnecessary readmissions and staff turnover.

A few recent HealthLeaders articles show how organizations can achieve the goals of value-based care by educating informal caregivers, strengthening connections across the care continuum, and improving direct care worker compensation.

1.Adding Unpaid Caregivers Reduces Readmission Rates

According to the research report Caregiving in the U.S., published in June 2015 by AARP's Public Policy Institute and the National Alliance for Caregiving, about 43.5 million U.S. adults had provided unpaid care to an adult or a child in the 12 months prior to the data collection.

A study in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has found that these informal caregivers have significant impact on patient outcomes.

Another study found that when unpaid caregivers such as spouses, partners, family members, or friends are included in discharge planning patient outcomes improve.

In fact, when unpaid caregivers of elderly patients were systematically integrated into discharge planning there were 25% fewer readmissions at 90 days and 24% fewer readmissions at 180 days.

The interventions used to integrate the caregivers varied. Some connected patients and caregivers to community resources, others focused on medication reconciliation, and others incorporated learning validation like teach-backs to a nurse.

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