With over 32 million total cases of COVID-19 in the United States, health systems are starting to see an increase in readmissions due to comorbidities of COVID-19. In 2020, Definitive Healthcare looked at the readmission rates of over 300,000 COVID-19 patients and found that 16.5% of patients who were hospitalized due to COVID-19 were readmitted within 60 days of discharge.
Even more, up to 25% of patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19 experience some level of "post-COVID syndrome." Some patients experience milder symptoms like brain fog and fatigue, while others suffer from more severe conditions that could last months, maybe even a lifetime. This is why follow-up communication is imperative for health systems.
While the experts still don't exactly know the long-term effects that COVID-19 will have on patients, leading healthcare providers like Mount Sinai are responding by creating post-COVID care initiatives. Their initiatives include taking a holistic approach to post-discharge care and even incorporate mental health services. Other providers are turning to technologies such as remote patient monitoring to manage readmission rates after COVID-19.
At Stericycle, we are helping health systems provide an exceptional patient experience for their post-COVID syndrome patients while also reducing readmission rates and recapturing patients without primary care physicians. Our Post-Discharge Services help hospitals and care centers manage patient care immediately following discharge, serving as an early intervention solution that can help prevent CMS penalties.
Stericycle Communication Solutions offers a personal touch to post-discharge follow-up for COVID-19 patients. Once we receive a list of discharged patients, our clinical and non-clinical agents conduct follow-up calls to patients 24 to 48 hours after being discharged from the hospital due to COVID-19. They then check back in according to the preferences of our health system partners—typically 30, 60, and 90 days after discharge.
Our highly trained agents inform patients of post-discharge instructions, such as medications and care plans as well as answer frequently asked questions. Even more, our agents can gauge compliance and identify patients that need additional care. If follow-up care is required, Stericycle Communication Solutions can schedule specialty and PCP appointments right into the EHR or through our Intelligent Scheduling Solution.
Stericycle's Post-Discharge Services help our clients optimize staff resources and maximize operational efficiencies while closing the post-discharge loop. Patients are happier, safer, and more at ease after a personal call post-discharge. But our Post-Discharge Services are more than just proactive follow-up; other features include:
- Custom communication plans-- Create plans by department, floor, provider, or patient population type. Integrate with Stericycle's Communication & Reminders patient outreach solution to customize cadence, channel, content, and context of messages.
- Medication reconciliation—Track patients' medications, including drug name, dosage, and frequency, to help pharmacists evaluate patient medications for adverse effects.
- Customized survey—Get the range of qualitative and quantitative feedback you need, including open-ended questions, and evaluate and track results with documentation to help improve HCAHPS scores.
Even more, our Post-Discharge Services can be paid for with Cares Act Funding. However, any healthcare providers who received or accepted Cares Act funding must be spent and reported to United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by the end of June 2021.
By providing post-discharge follow-up, your health system can continue to monitor patients and create a lasting, positive patient experience. To learn more about our Post-Discharge Services, download our data sheet.