Reducing Readmissions Through Follow-up Appointment

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Project which included a Rapid Process Improvement Charter, Cause and Effect matrix, Pareto chart, Five Why’s, and a Control Plan to sustain the changes.

The hospital was seeing an increase in 30-day Medicare readmissions. Assuring a follow-up appointment prior to patient being discharged is a significant step towards reducing 30-day readmissions. Increased 30-day readmissions have led to increases the risk of a loss in revenue, patient dissatisfaction and can cause an increase in mortality

Tool Selection:
Lean six sigma green belt projects use a systematic approach to problems and apply a DMAIC skills with complex processes using methods and tools that support a culture of data and facts based on decision making. Readmissions are complex and need a systematic approach to decrease readmissions.

An interdisciplinary team developed a Cause and Effect matrix. Organization often find that the same problem continues to occur even after a project. it is important to complete a Gemba walk to define the barriers along with data collection of contributing factors. Cause and effect matrix helped identified the problem.

Baseline data of a Follow-up appointment was at 25% prior to project. Barriers identified were – lack of education to Unit Coordinators to schedule appointment prior to discharge, patient with no primary care provider, no insurance, offices not answering phone, weekend discharge. After project 128% relative improvement from baseline.

Director, Quality
Director, Quality – Bellin Health

Speaker Type: HQ Best Practice Tools On-Demand

  • Performance and Process Improvement IconPerformance and Process Improvement
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