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Patients are often discharged from the hospital without the skills or resources to care for themselves at home. They might misunderstand medication or diet instructions or might not have a primary care provider to follow-up with after discharge.
Programs that have patients demonstrate their ability to carry out instructions prior to discharge can help identify patient deficits while the patient is still in the hospital.
Discharge clinics are another way that hospitalists and other healthcare providers are trying to compensate for a lack of primary care providers in the community. These programs have many strengths, but there is a risk that patients may overuse them for things better suited for primary care providers. Some believe this strategy is merely a bandage for a system that needs a bigger fix.
Read more: Many Hospital Readmissions Are Preventable.
Originally posted 2012-05-03 16:30:24.