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Project RED brings out red shirts PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   

It looked as if there were about 100 Nebraska Cornhusker fans roaming around Melissa Memorial Hospital Friday, Jan. 13. While Broncos jerseys and shirts could be found around town, staff at MMH threw on red shirts as they kicked off their initiative to wipe out readmissions.

Project RED (Re-Engineered Discharge) is a collaborative MMH has entered into with the Colorado Hospital Association and United Healthcare through a two-year grant. The goal is to improve patient safety through increasing patient preparedness and education, enhancing provider-patient relationships and improving community infrastructure and by doing so, avoid (“wipe out”) readmissions.

MMH staff members will reach for their red shirts every second Friday of the month.

“It’s a new way of providing information to the patients at discharge,” Peggi Davidson, compliance officer, QI director and risk manager said. “The goal is to better educate the patients about their condition and diagnosis and give them information to keep them healthier.”


A handful of Melissa Memorial Hospital staff members gathered Friday, Jan. 13 for a photo. They are all wearing their Project RED wipeout readmissions shirts.  —Enterprise photo

In 2012, the focus is on:

—educating patients about their diagnosis throughout their hospital stay.

—making appointments for follow-up visits and post-discharge testing.

—discussion with the patient about tests or studies they have had in the hospital.

—organizing their post-discharge services.

—confirmation of their Medication Plan.

—reconciling the discharge plan.

—reviewing with the patient what to do if a problem arises.

—transmitting information to patient’s providers who will provide care after discharge.

—assessing the patient’s understanding of their medical issue and care needs.

—giving the patient a written discharge plan at the time of discharge that explains:

•reason for hospitalization.

•discharge medications including what medications to take, how to take them and how to obtain the medication.

•instructions on what to do if their condition changes.

•coordinating and planning follow-up appointments that the patient can keep.

•coordinating and planning for follow-up tests and studies for which confirmed results are not available at the time of discharge.

—providing telephone reinforcement of the discharge plan and problem-solving 2-3 days after discharge.

“We have done this stuff and it’s been in the nursing process all the way through,” Pat Notter, R.N. said. “It’s more of a formal process with this project.”

Notter noted all readmissions are not a black mark, sometimes it is necessary. They are unavoidable at times. Those with in stage COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) are unavoidable patients who most likely will be in and out.

Part of the project is calling patients 48-72 hours after having been discharged. Questions are asked to find out how the patient is doing following their discharge.

MMH Director of Nursing Claudia Powell said the swingbed program at MMH has probably cut readmissions way down. The swingbed program gives patients the chance to heal and get the right medications before they go home.

Prior to becoming a swingbed patient, three nights are spent as an inpatient.

Notter said health care providers are taught to begin discharge planning upon admission. “We’re looking towards what situation the patient is safely capable of being in,” she added.

Those with questions about readmissions or any other information may contact Powell or Notter at 854-2241.

The next time staff at MMH breaks out the red shirts, patients are reminded the hands that are taking care of them have their health in mind.


Holyoke Enterprise January 26, 2012