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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Florida: ‘Teach-back’ Technique Can Reduce Hospital Visits

At a typical doctor visit, the physician does most of the explaining. But a new study shows that when certain patients “teach back” a doctor’s instructions, they’re less likely to wind up in the hospital.

In the study, people living with high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease saw double-digit drops in hospital admissions compared with patients who did not teach their instructions back to their health-care provider.

“For patients with these conditions, most of their care happens at home,” said Mr. Young-Rock Hong, a doctoral student in health services research at the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions and the lead author of the study, which appears in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. “Teach-back helps doctors identify what information patients are lacking, or what they misunderstood, so they can correct it.”

The study, conducted with UF professors Dr. Michelle Cardel and Dr. Carla Fisher and colleagues from the University of Texas, the New York Academy of Medicine and the University of Alabama, looked at five years of nationwide health care data from the Longitudinal Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. When adults 18 and older with high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were asked to repeat care instructions back to their doctor in their own words, they were 15 percent less likely to be admitted to the hospital and 23 percent less likely to be repeatedly hospitalized.

Full article in UF News.