Valley Ambulance, RWMC partnering on reducing hospital readmissions

Regional West Medical Center's Home Care and Valley Ambulance have teamed up on a pilot program to reduce the number of readmissions into the hospital during the crucial 30 days after discharge. The program is unique because the ambulance company's EMT's are sharing the responsibility with the home care employees in seeing patients at their residence within 24 hours after they are discharged and then weekly over the next three weeks.

Congestive heart failure and pneumonia patients are being targeted with the program because of their high readmission rate. Valley Ambulance owner Randy Meininger says the idea is to "empower" people on how to take responsibility for their own care by immediately going over their discharge and medicine instructions in their home, where they feel more comfortable than at the end of a hospital stay.

The program started in February, but to this point none of the 25 patients being monitored under the program have been readmitted.
Meininger and Home Care director Diana Rohrick worked on the program for two and a half years and it was reviewed by the hospital's internal board before it began.

Meininger says he's proud to be part of something that is "a little ahead of the curve". The results of the program will be published so it can be duplicated at other locations.

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