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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU Finds Organizational Changes Help to Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Since the federal government cracked down on hospitals readmitting patients within 30 days, hospitals across the country have adopted a variety of clinical practices, such as scheduling follow-up appointments before discharge, aimed at reducing readmissions. But a new study co-authored by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers suggests that certain “organizational practices” may be more effective in reducing readmission rates.

The study, in the journal Medical Care, finds that high-performing hospitals were distinguished by four practices: improving collaboration across disciplinary boundaries; building relationships with post-acute care providers, such as skilled nursing facilities; embracing “trial and error learning”; and fostering a sense that readmissions are bad for patients, rather than worrying about their financial implications.

“It seems that adoption of the types of clinical practices that have been widely studied and recommended for readmissions reduction are not sufficient to achieve desired results in all hospitals,” the researchers said. “As has been recognized with other outcomes, the organizational context in which clinical practice changes occur plays an important role in readmissions.”

To read more about the study, go to: