Release Date: 01/12/2015
When people are discharged from the hospital, either as an inpatient or from the emergency department, they are generally told to follow up with their primary care provider within a week to make sure the transition home is smooth and their health continues to improve. It can often be difficult to get an appointment on such short notice, which can have a negative impact on the person’s recovery and can actually lead to rehospitalization.
Memorial Hospital has created a Hospital Follow-Up Clinic to ensure that when its primary care patients are discharged from any area hospital, they can be seen quickly by a primary care physician.
“We have a checklist of items we make sure are addressed – including medication reconciliation, follow-up testing and the patient’s understanding of the care plan – and we then turn the patient over to their primary care physician,” explains Dino Messina, MD, PhD, FACP, associate program director in the Department of Medicine at Memorial and medical director of the Internal Medicine Clinic.“We are tracking certain parameters going forward but we’re certain that this clinic can make a difference and improve the quality of the transition of care from the hospital to the home for our patients.”
It’s important for patients seen in a hospital setting – inpatient or emergency – to have this sort of timely follow-up after they are sent home so a physician can evaluate their recovery and response to treatment, and note any changes in their condition or medications.
“So many things can happen in those first days out of the hospital,” Messina says. “It’s very important to keep track of things so an individual can continue to get better and not relapse.”
For more information on the Hospital Follow-Up Clinic at Memorial or to make an appointment, call (401) 729-2258. The clinic is held every Wednesday.
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