Transitional Care Interventions Prevent Hospital Readmissions For Adults With Chronic Illnesses
Author: Kim J. Verhaegh, Janet L. MacNeil-Vroomen, Saeid Eslami, Suzanne E. Geerlings, Sophia E. de Rooij, Bianca M. Buurman
Transitional care interventions aim to improve care transitions from hospital to home and to reduce hospital readmissions for chronically ill patients. The objective of our study was to examine if these interventions were associated with a reduction of readmission rates in the short (30 days or less), intermediate (31–180 days), and long terms (181–365 days). We systematically reviewed twenty-six randomized controlled trials conducted in a variety of countries whose results were published in the period January 1, 1980–May 29, 2013. Our analysis showed that transitional care was effective in reducing all-cause intermediate-term and long-term readmissions. Only high-intensity interventions seemed to be effective in reducing short-term readmissions. Our findings suggest that to reduce short-term readmissions, transitional care should consist of high-intensity interventions that include care coordination by a nurse, communication between the primary care provider and the hospital, and a home visit within three days after discharge.