A letter from Jean Moody-Williams.
Brian Jack, M.D. is Professor of Family Medicine and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine. As the Principal Investigator for the"Re-Engineered Discharge" (Project RED) process, he leads a research team whose work to improve hospital discharge processes has been adapted by the National Quality Forum as a national"Safe Practice" used in 50 states and over 10 countries.
Jeffrey A. Flaks is Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Hartford HealthCare (HHC), a more than $2 billion health care system based in Connecticut’s state capital. Flaks previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hartford Hospital, HHC’s flagship tertiary care center.
Charles Pascale, a 67-year-old resident of East Brunswick, N.J., was diagnosed with diabetes in the early 1990s. In 2005, he underwent bypass surgery and was re-hospitalized six times in 2010 and two times in 2011 and 2012. After many tests and procedures, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, End Stage Renal Disease, mild stroke, various gastrointestinal issues and an irregular heartbeat. Mr. Pascale endured several amputations and continues to receive dialysis. Through it all, he has remained positive because of the collaboration he has witnessed among his health care providers, as well as his own integration into the care team. This is his story.
One in five hospital stays are complicated by a post-discharge adverse event and one in four readmissions occur within 30 days as the result of poor discharge care caused by rushed communication and poor handoffs.
Research has shown that when patients are actively involved in their health care, they tend to have better outcomes. One emerging strategy that conveys this idea is shared decision-making (SDM) – the process of using medical evidence and patient values to come to a conclusion about treatment.
Known as the“silent killer,” high blood pressure often goes undetected until it causes heart disease or a stroke. One of the ways to reduce the severe health consequences of high blood pressure is by educating patients about the risks.