VA Palo Alto brought transitional care experts to their hospital to convince their executives of the importance of reducing readmissions.
Changing any processes in a hospital is hard. Transitional care wasn’t part of our corporate strategy or any executive mandate, so we really had to sell it in. When we first proposed it, some of the doctors said it wasn’t a problem. They kept saying “Show me the numbers.” Our director is data driven as well; we knew she needed to be convinced that this was a program worth investing in.
VA Palo Alto is a government-affiliated teaching hospital in Palo Alto, CA. It has 885 beds and serves primarily English-speaking US veterans with comorbidities requiring both acute and chronic care. Their transitions program began in 2012 and is influenced by Project RED.
What We Tried
We used some of our planning money to bring the PI for Project RED, Dr. Brian Jack, in for a daylong training session. The first four hours were for everyone including hospital executives and the rest of the day was for the frontline implementers. I was nervous about inviting our directors and associate directors, but ultimately did and they attended.
Our director stayed for the entire four-hour training and said “Whatever you need, just let me know what it is. Whatever you need.” The training convinced her of the importance of transitional care. This support has been key to our success. We’ve only needed to go to her for help once, but all we did was explain our situation and she fixed it.