Ann Cochran from Dallas County Public Health discusses the push to avoid re-hospitalization.

Hospitals are under great pressure to assure that patients will not have to be readmitted soon after discharge. This is a major goal for hospital systems currently, and has led to changes in how hospitals do business.

Home health care following a hospital discharge can help individuals remain in their home and be as independent as possible, plus it keeps families together, reduces stress, and promotes recovery. It is an efficient use of health care dollars. Home health nurses work closely with physicians and other health care providers to ensure the continuity of care. Out-patient care after hospitalization may include physical therapy, nutrition education, or speech therapy.

Sometimes patients no longer need the acute care provided in a hospital, but temporarily need constant nursing care. In these cases, the patient may go from the hospital to a skilled nursing facility to achieve some specific goals before going back home.

If your family is looking for options, call the Health Navigators at Dallas County Public Health to coordinate care and help locate appropriate in-home care following a hospital stay. Communication is key. If you or a loved one is hospitalized, ask for details on returning safely home.