Significant drop in readmissions at a three-hospital academic health system after implementing EHR-based decision support tool to enhance identification of patients in need of post-acute care. 

Summary:  Hospital readmissions are a common and costly problem, and new tools are needed to help clinicians identify patients in need of post-acute care. A team of researchers created an evidence-based decision support tool that integrates with hospital electronic health record (EHR) systems to help identify high-risk patients when they are admitted to the hospital, so their care can be tailored to prevent readmissions. With support from an Small Business Innovation Research award from NINR, the research team installed the tool in a three-hospital academic health system and compared readmission outcomes before and after implementation. They found a 33 percent relative reduction in 30-day readmissions and a 37 percent relative reduction in 60-day readmissions after implementation, suggesting that this evidence-based decision support tool can help connect patients to the care they need for better outcomes after discharge.

Abstract: Bowles KH, Chittams J, Heil E, et al. Successful Electronic Implementation of Discharge Referral Decision Support Has a Positive Impact on 30- and 60-day Readmissions. Res Nurs Health. 2015 Apr; 38(2): 102-14. PMID: 25620675