As part of our mission to continually measure our quality and improve our care, this year At Home Nursing Care adopted a quality assurance project focused on client hospitalizations. Our goals were to measure all in-patient stays accurately, note when they occurred, why, and especially, how often our clients had to return to the hospital within 30 days of discharge.

We monitored the data for 9 months, and this is what we learned.

At Home Nursing Care’s re-admission rate is 6.7%. This is well below the national rate of 15%, The San Diego/Imperial County average rate of 18.1% and the Los Angeles average rate of 20.8%. We are proud of those numbers as it means there is no pattern emerging that shows an area of improvement for us. However, we will continue to collect the data so we can react in case something does change down the road.

There was only one client who was re-admitted within a 30 day period. She elected admission to hospice at that point. No clients went to the hospital within 30 days of starting care with At Home Nursing Care. In fact, the clients in the measurement group had an average length of service with us of more than two years.

Cardiovascular complications were the leading cause of hospitalizations, followed by muscular skeletal issues or related pain, then falls and seizure.

There are a couple of take a ways from this small study. First, we noticed that clients who increased their hours of care upon hospital discharge tended to stabilize and not experience additional issues. This will help us make recommendations when a decline or change in condition is noted.

Secondly, our data showed that multiple hospitalizations in a short period were a precursor to hospice admission. This may influence when or how we educate clients and families about hospice, especially if there are strong feelings regarding avoiding hospitalizations towards the end of life.