Discharge can be one of the most important parts of a patient’s hospitalization, according to Dr. Michael Hwa of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, a safety net organization in California. A study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine found that patients who went to a follow-up appointment with their PCP within four weeks of discharge were ten times less likely to be readmitted.
After a hospitalization, simply asking patients to follow up with their primary care physician isn’t enough to ensure a successful discharge. To reduce the chances patients are readmitted, Santa Clara Valley is using a one-click scheduling workflow in Epic to make it easy for their staff to schedule follow-ups. Santa Clara Valley also utilized guardrails to make sure that providers scheduled the right appointments prior to discharge. After a year and a half of this new system, Santa Clara Valley has seen a 32% increase in the number of follow-up appointments within 30 days of discharge.
Epic community members can learn more from Santa Clara Valley’s UGM presentation.