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How Hospitals can Leverage eCommerce to Reduce Readmissions

March 20, 2022 - by Parul Saini, Webmedy team


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It's a big challenge for hospitals and health systems that patients are discharged, then re-admitted after returning home in short order. It's problematic for several reasons. Health and wellness are always top priorities for hospitals and health systems, which means that when a patient is discharged and suffers a setback that causes them to return to the hospital (usually within 30 days of discharge), it has a negative influence on their health and convenience.

This hurts the hospital or health system that treated this patient. If the patient is re-admitted to another hospital within the grace period, Medicare will usually punish the hospital where the patient was treated and released. Aside from the fee, hospitals risk losing their quality of care rankings, which are used to determine how well a hospital treats patients in several categories.

So, how can hospitals and health systems lower readmission rates?

Ecommerce, to be precise. In principle, when patients are discharged, they are typically given materials and information that will assist them, their families, or carers in ensuring a successful recovery.

Imagine a patient who needs hip surgery. As soon as the surgery is completed, the patient will be discharged and likely will be recovering at home. Because of this procedure, the chances of falling increase. However, there are several home health products and daily living aids that could aid this patient in reducing their risk. You can get everything from a reacher tool to a bathtub grab bar and shower bench. Since many families and patients are unaware of these products, it will establish the health system as a trusted resource of care if their hospital/health system suggests these products upon discharge, and more importantly, provides an ordering portal that allows patients to purchase the doctor-recommended products.

In health systems, this type of e-commerce platform can also be found within patient portals. Clinical Care professionals being able to recommend home healthcare products directly through an e-commerce portal that the hospital is offering them could reduce readmissions by a great deal.

Hospital Benefits of Leveraging eCommerce

  • Reduce Readmissions

    The collaboration between health systems and hospitals will reduce the chances of readmissions across a range of conditions if they provide a catalog of health and wellness products and correlate discharge timing with these suggested or recommended products.

  • Increase Revenue

    It is never a bad thing to provide hospitals and health systems with additional revenue. In addition to offering additional revenue streams, e-commerce portals that allow patients to pay with cash will provide patients with the ability to spend their own money.

  • Increase Hospital Ranking and Perception

    In the case of a doctor's prescription, you follow it. By incorporating doctors into this eCommerce portal, patients will receive the authoritative push they need to buy products that will ease their recovery and decrease their risk for hospital readmission.

  • Improve Quality of Care and Outcomes

    In the end, the focus should be on improving outcomes and quality of care - not only for the patient but also for the family members of the patient. Patients will be able to browse catalogs of health and wellness products that will be suggested for them in this eCommerce portal as these products will be picked according to their specific medical condition (with the help of their attending physician).

Summary

In the end, hospitals and health systems must provide methods to ensure that patients are safe upon discharge. Providing patients and loved ones with eCommerce options will help them recover in a safe, secure manner, contributing to better patient outcomes.

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