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Balancing rigor and efficiency when it comes to risk assessment

3 minute read

Lodi Memorial simplified BOOST’s risk assessment tool to meet the specific needs of their hospital and patients.

The Issue

When implementing Project BOOST, we were provided with key intervention tools. The BOOST tools are comprehensive and include many details. Some of the tools were too detailed to work effectively at our hospital, considering our process and staff responsibilities.

What We Tried

Our BOOST physician mentor encouraged us to use the BOOST materials as a starting point and then revise them to fit the needs. Our Readmission Prevention Task Force felt that the BOOST High Risk Assessment Tool needed to be simplified so staff could use it to quickly identify a high-risk patient. We needed it to be very user friendly—plus, simple forms are easier to integrate into our EMR. We kept simplifying it until it was the right balance of effectiveness and usability. Then we incorporated it into our EMR.­

Impact

The revised high-risk assessment tool led to more consistent completion. It is also easily accessible in the EMR. When we have a readmission, we check to see whether the patient was originally identified as high risk. We periodically re-evaluate the tool to insure that it is effectively identifying patients that are at high risk for readmission.

Additional Benefits

We learned to think creatively, out of the box, and to tailor new processes to what works for our culture.

Tips

Strongly recommend that a new tool be trialed, re-evaluated, and revised for effectiveness, as needed.

Valerie Cronin

Profession:

Organization Background

Organization Name: Lodi Memorial Hospital

Location: Lodi Memorial Hospital, South Fairmont Avenue, Lodi, CA, United States

Organization Type: Hospital

Organization Model: boost

3 Comments
  1. Heather Rogers 2 years ago

    So when a patient is identified via your tool as high risk for readmission, what specifically do you do during that patient's stay that is different from someone who does not score as high risk for readmission? What steps do you take to prevent another readmission? I love your tool, but I would love some ideas as to how to use it once it is completed and a high risk score is determined. Thanks!

    • Author
      Valerie Cronin 2 years ago

      Hi Heather,
      All staff become aware that the pt. is identified as high risk, including nursing staff, physicians, case management staff and social services. They are very focused on thorough education and referrals. Case management staff ensures that follow up appointments are as soon as possible after discharge. High risk pts. then receive a follow up phone call, within 24 hours after d/c to identify any barriers to a their transition to the community. They receive more calls, as needed, for up to 30 days to make as much effort, as possible, to prevent a readmission.
      Valerie

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