MYQI Guide on Readmissions

My quality Improvement (MyQI)

The goal is to deliver safe, high-quality health care to patients in all clinical settings. You can use the information in this guide to improve quality of care across settings and at multiple levels in order to avoid readmissions.

Resources and links provide information on these topics: 

Background Information

General Resources on How to Reduce Readmissions

A readmission is any unanticipated hospitalization that occurs following a previous hospital stay. Typically, readmissions are measured 7, 14, 15 or 30 days after discharge from the initial visit. Reducing potentially preventable readmissions is an important step to reducing costs and improving quality of care.

learn more iconLearn how health leaders can reduce readmissions

learn more iconAHIP report programs reducing readmissions and ED use

Toolkit IconFramework for hospitals to reduce readmissions

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Case Studies and Lessons Learned

As hospitals continue to implement programs to reduce readmissions, they have documented their experiences and identified lessons learned in the process.

learn more iconLessons from top-performing hospitals on reducing readmissions

learn more iconCase study with tips to reduce readmissions

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Best Practices

As health care costs rise and concerns about quality of care grows, hospitals have identified and adopted many strategies to help reduce readmissions.

learn more iconAcademyHealth report on best practices to reduce readmissions

learn more iconA survey of published evidence on interventions to reduce readmissions

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Coordinating Care

Medication reconciliation

Medication reconciliation is the process of comparing a patient's medication orders to all of the medications the patient is taking. Reconciliation helps avoid medication errors such as omissions, duplications, dosage errors, or drug interactions that may result in readmissions.

learn more iconStrategies for reconciling medications at admission

learn more iconAMA guide for physicians for medication reconciliation

Toolkit IconComprehensive toolkit on medication reconciliation

Toolkit IconTraining and template materials for medication reconciliation

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Discharge process

The hospital discharge process is a multi-faceted process, often fragmented and non-standardized. Improving this process can reduce adverse events, medical errors and readmission rates.

learn more icon Learn how improving the discharge process reduces readmissions

Toolkit IconProject RED toolkit to help hospitals re-engineer the discharge process

Toolkit IconDischarge planning checklist for patients and hospital staff

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Care transitions and Coordination of Care

Effective care transitions ensure coordination and continuity of health care from one setting to another. Poorly managed transitions frequently lead to hospital readmissions, medication errors, and avoidable ED visits.

Toolkit IconToolkit to improve hospital systems and reduce readmissions

learn more iconLearn more about opportunities to improve care transitions

learn more iconNQF report on care coordination practices and measurement

Toolkit IconComprehensive website with links to resources and tools for providers to improve care transitions

Toolkit IconToolkit to improve care transitions in your community

Toolkit IconTools to improve transitions using "transition coaches"

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Patient Communication and Education

Effective provider-patient communication is key to improving patient outcomes and reducing readmissions.

learn more iconTips to help providers communicate well with patients before discharge

Toolkit IconDischarge patient-education tool that providers can give to their patients to help them understand their treatment after discharge

learn more iconLearn how to enhance patient education and reduce readmissions

learn more iconStudy on the usefulness of whiteboards as a communication tool in hospitals

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Additional Resources on Readmissions

Links to other useful and interesting resources on readmissions.

learn more iconAHRQ statistical brief on hospital readmissions and ED visits

learn more iconNEJM study on readmissions among patients in the Medicare fee-for-service program

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Page last reviewed March 2013
Internet Citation: MYQI Guide on Readmissions: My quality Improvement (MyQI). March 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/monahrq/myqi/readmissions.html