Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-17.26
Comprehensive Discharge Planning

SECTION 23-17.26-1

§ 23-17.26-1. Findings.

The general assembly hereby finds and declares that:

(1) According to data provided by the department of health; in 2009, over 1 in five (5) adults discharged from acute care hospitals in Rhode Island were readmitted within thirty (30) days;

(2) During that same period, the readmission rate for adults over the age of sixty-five (65) rose to almost thirty percent (30%);

(3) The issue of hospital readmissions has emerged nationally as a critical focal point for improving quality, ensuring patient safety, and controlling excessive costs;

(4) Locally, high hospital readmission rates are often due to: missing or incorrect information regarding patients; ill-timed information transfer; medication errors or poor compliance; lack of outpatient follow-up; or lack of follow-up by patients when their symptoms worsen;

(5) Evidence-based interventions can improve communications systems and patient activation, thus addressing the root causes of hospital readmissions and reducing rates;

(6) Encouraging best practices in patient discharge and transitions out of hospitals offers significant potential for improving patient care and containing healthcare costs in Rhode Island; and,

(7) The State of Rhode Island, with the cooperation of the state's hospitals, has already made significant gains in fostering care coordination and improving quality of care.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2011, ch. 114, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 119, § 1.)