Telephone follow-up calls for older patients after hospital discharge.
18 januari 2017
Population ageing poses many challenges. Recurrent readmission to hospital by frail older people places a strain on health systems and the individual. Registered nurses with experience in emergency department, ICU and aged care conducted telephone follow-up calls to patients or bereaved family members after an acute hospital admission. During follow-up calls, many patients reported feelings of loneliness and social isolation post-discharge. It was also found that patients may not be aware of support services available in the community. Telephone follow-up calls after discharge is a potentially cost-effective strategy to identify these patients and potentially provide comfort and timely referrals where needed.