Frequently Asked Questions about ReInforced Care

 

 

 

 

Is ReInforced Care HIPAA-compliant?

Yes, our entire system is HIPAA-compliant — from initial acquisition of patient data, to the way we conduct our outreach, to our tools for sharing real-time patient needs, to our in-depth reporting. Patient data is securely stored in a HITRUST-certified data center with 24/7 physical and network security and monitoring.

 

How much flexibility is there in the rules or protocols governing outreach?

There are many ways in which healthcare organizations can and do customize the outreach program to meet their needs. Some have us select patients by primary diagnosis to receive specialized sets of questions and health reminders, on a separate schedule from that followed for other patients. Some have us emphasize specific other tasks with specific groups, e.g., to remind patients about resources that are available; to collect email addresses for better follow-up; or to evaluate and improve a program for Joint Commission approval.

 

What are the technical requirements for using the Portal?

Our Clinician Portal is accessed through a secure website using a web browser that is already installed on your computer. You choose which of your staff members are given access credentials. For security reasons, the portal is only accessible from your hospital.

 

How much readmission reduction can we expect with your program?

We have collaborated with hospitals to reduce hospital-wide 30-day readmission by an average of 12%.  Considering that only about 23% of 30-day readmissions are even preventable, this is a 52% reduction in preventables.  Across our client hospitals, the readmission rate has improved by 1.6 percentage points.

Our 7-day readmission reduction has been even better at 18%.

 

Is there a particular diagnosis for which your results are especially noteworthy?

Congestive heart failure patients are a notoriously difficult group for which to achieve readmission reduction, as an extensive research literature will attest. We have had very good results with this population. Hospitals implementing tailored programs have seen CHF readmissions improve by between 4.9% and 14.5% compared to the rates of comparable non-ReInforced-Care CHF patients.  This overall result, averaging 8.4%, makes up an estimated 37% of preventable CHF readmissions.

 

How many of our staff members will be needed to respond to the patient needs you identify?

Our clients have found a variety of ways to structure their responses to patients. Some of these approaches are profiled in our case studies at http://www.reinforcedcare.com/case-studies/. For one large hospital, a single transitional care nurse handles most post-discharge “escalations.” For another, in fact smaller hospital, division of labor rules the day, with specific roles taken on by nurses, social workers, and pharmacists. Our staff, especially our Clinical Director (a long-time nurse), excels at helping clients find productive ways to make the best use of our system.

 

In what ways do hospitals use your analyses and reports?

To provide colleagues and payers with evidence of readmission reductions the hospital has achieved, and the associated dollar savings. To identify areas for improvement, such as pockets of high readmission rates. To select (via predictive models) high-risk patients who need additional intervention. To test for seasonality or interactions affecting patient outcomes. To see results geographically. To evaluate the centrality of different factors in affecting readmission rates. To understand relationships between selected patient behaviors or experiences (acquiring meds, making post-discharge appointments, being visited promptly by Home Health) and key outcomes. To support Joint Commission certifications. And more: our analytics and reporting are customizable.

 


Updated January 17, 2017