Care management's challenges and opportunities to reduce the rapid rehospitalization of frail community-dwelling older adults

Adam G Golden, Sweta Tewary, Stuti Dang, Bernard A Roos
Gerontologist 2010, 50 (4): 451-8
Community-based frail older adults, burdened with complex medical and social needs, are at great risk for preventable rapid rehospitalizations. Although federal and state regulations are in place to address the care transitions between the hospital and nursing home, no such guidelines exist for the much larger population of community-dwelling frail older adults. Few studies have looked at interventions to prevent rehospitalizations in this large segment of the older adult population. Similarly, standardized disease management approaches that lower hospitalization rates in an independent adult population may not suffice for guiding the care of frail persons. Care management interventions currently face unique challenges in their attempt to improve the transitional care of community-dwelling older adults. However, impending national imperatives aimed at reducing potentially avoidable hospitalizations will soon demand and reward care management strategies that identify frail persons early in the discharge process and promote the sharing of critical information among patients, caregivers, and health care professionals. Opportunities to improve the quality and efficiency of care-related communications must focus on the effective blending of training and technology for improving communications vital to successful care transitions.

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