‘SMART’ forms

March 23, 2016

Help prevent hospital readmissions – be ‘SMART’

It’s a hot topic prioritized by hospitals – but what really can be done to reduce hospital readmissions? We can flip it around and regard it as ‘Improving patient care’ – after all this is what it will do – and be proactive with every inpatient.

A patient with a long term chronic illness shouldn’t have to endure a life time of unnecessary hospital admissions. Likewise, an admitted patient shouldn’t be left in an uncertain state about how to care for themselves at home, without instructions to follow, and not knowing when to seek appropriate follow up care.

For a hospital, readmitted patients become very costly as well as put the hospital reputation on the line. By following a few simple steps, these issues can be addressed and numbers of readmission lowered.

To prevent readmissions, we need to:

  • Target the people most likely to benefit, followed by assessing their health related needs and risks.
  • Develop a care plan tailored to their needs, whilst also engaging other family members for support in carrying it out.
  • Ensure they have access to the appropriate medical support and
  • Facilitate communication and progress among all providers.

To prevent readmissions – use ‘SMART’

Hospitals should use ‘SMART’ forms for every patient (example attached). 5 simple, yet effective steps will help the patient and their families feel more in control.

Signs I should look for –  point out symptoms that could happen and if they do, how to treat them/what to do.

Medication notes –  Write down all necessary medication and when to take it etc.

Appointments – Follow up appointments are often needed. Write on the form when and where these are, as an easy point of reference.

Results – Once results have come back, write them in this section for the patient and/or carer to see.

Talk with me more about – In this section patients should note down any questions they may have throughout their stay.  There isn’t always a Doctor to hand, and the patient may well forget particular questions they had by the time they do see the Doctor. This acts as an interactive section where questions can be listed and discussed once a Doctor is available.

Of course nothing runs smoothly with even the best laid plans, but following the simple steps above will help considerably in giving patients a better experience, better care, reduce costs and boost hospital reputations.

For further information on Perioperative, please see www.bit.ly/PeriopMethod and www.perioperative.com.au

Posted in Uncategorised by Douglas Fahlbusch