Monday, November 26, 2007
Post-discharge phone calls
Another technique available to you is 80post-discharge phone calls, that is, calling the resident two or three days after they're discharged. Obviously this is something best suited for short-term skilled patients. I could also see, however, calling the families of deceased residents about a week or so after they passed away and asking how they are and if you can do anything for them. But back to the post-skilled calls. After calling the person, you want to start up by showing empathy - "Mr. X? This is so-and-so from Generic Nursing Home and you were discharged from my unit the day before yesterday. I just wanted to call you and see how you're doing." Then ask about discharge orders or any kind of physician follow-up. Make sure they understand the orders. The next thing to do is to tell the person that you like to recognize your employees and ask who did and excellent job while they were there. Try to get specific details on what makes any employees they mention good, and then mention this to the employee. Finally ask the person if they were satisfied with their care and solicit suggestions on how the facility can improve. During these calls, make sure to spend 20% of the time asking questions and 80-90% of the time shutting up and listening. And don't make these calls before you round for outcomes, which will be what the next post is all about.