Study Examines Effect of Nurse Follow-up Call On Healthcare Reutilization Rates

Monday, July 23, 2018

Parents report that a single phone call from a nurse within four days of a child leaving the hospital results in “significantly more clinical warning signs or red flags” 14 days after discharge.

While parents may appreciate the post-discharge education, the call did not decrease rates of readmission, urgent care or emergency services following standard hospital discharges, according to Katherine Auger, MD, a physician in the Division of Hospital Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s and lead author of the study.

“Families desire information on post-discharge care, including information on who to call if problems arise,” says Auger. “They also desire reassurance when their children are recovering appropriately. We designed the intervention to provide these elements to families assuming that it would reduce reutilization rates. We need to understand better what drives the use of healthcare services in the post-discharge period.”

The study, published online in JAMA Pediatrics, included 966 children. The telephone call was completed for 442 children. Reutilization rates were measured 30 days after discharge.

The study was supported by grants from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (HIS-1306-00811) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (1K08HS024735).

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Jim Feuer