READI or not: structured assessment of patient readiness for hospital discharge can lower readmission rates according to new research from UMSN faculty

Patient and nurse at the bedsideHospital readmissions are one of the most frustrating and potentially expensive complications that patients may face. A team of nurse and economist researchers, including University of Michigan School of Nursing Associate Professor Olga Yakusheva, Ph.D., tested whether nurses can reduce readmissions by adding a structured assessment of patient discharge readiness.

The Readiness Evaluation and Discharge Interventions (READI) study showed readmission rates were reduced by up to 1.79 percentage points when nurses conducted discharge assessments that included direct input from the patient. The effectiveness was evident in hospital units where pre-intervention rates of readmission were higher than 11 percent.  

“Incorporating the patient’s perspective in the assessment of discharge readiness was a key feature of the new pre-discharge assessment process,” said Marianne Weiss, a Marquette University Professor of Nursing and principal investigator for the READI study. “This allowed the nurses to plan more effectively for patients’ discharge needs. We recommend discharge readiness assessment as a standard practice for hospital discharge Olga Yakusheva because it brings the patient’s voice into planning and decisions about discharge. It also supplements existing hospital efforts to help patients avoid problems post-discharge than can result in a return to the hospital.”

“What sets READI apart from other readmission-reduction interventions is the fact that it requires very little clinician time,” said Yakusheva, who co-led the study. “At less than 10 minutes per patient, and given the average hourly nurse wage of $35 per hour, the READI assessment compares very favorably to other interventions in the literature at $100 per patient or more. So it can be relatively easily added to any number of existing strategies that hospitals already use to reduce high rates of readmissions.”

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open

Partial content provided by Marquette University