Enhancing the Role of Primary Care can Reduce Hospital Readmissions

April 6th, 2020 | News


By elevating primary care’s role as the “integrator” within the health system during care transitions, we can potentially reduce the high rates of hospital readmissions, which are associated with adverse events such as prescribing errors and misdiagnoses of conditions. A new JSI-led report describes research on how to enhance primary care’s role.

In partnership with AHRQ, we examined the need to improve patient safety and reduce potentially preventable readmissions by expanding primary care practices’ engagement with hospitals, community agencies, and other partners.

We believe there is a need for new care delivery models that engage primary and specialty physicians, hospitals, and other partners in providing complete and coordinated care,” note AHRQ’s David Meyers, MD, and Jeff Brady, MD, MPH, in a recent blog featuring JSI’s report.

While many programs over the last 10 years have sought to reduce hospital readmissions, preventable readmission rates remain high. Such programs have focused on enhancing practices, including the discharge process and handoffs to receiving providers or settings of care. There has been much less focus on how the primary care setting can reduce readmissions and improve patient safety.  

JSI’s technical approach combined formative qualitative research with quality improvement techniques to identify key principles for a conceptual framework on the role of primary care to improve quality and safety for patients after hospital discharge. The research included the perspectives of primary care staff, hospitals, community partners, patients, and other stakeholders, and will inform future interventions that can be tested in a diverse set of primary care practices.

Learn more: Potentially Preventable Readmissions:  Conceptual Framework to Rethink the Role of Primary Care

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