2001 – Hospital Acquired Disability – A Call To Action
Hospital Case Managers are in a unique position to impact the care of patients in the hospital setting. They are the advocate and coordinator of the patient’s course through the hospital stay, care transitions to different levels of care and on to post-acute care services. Hospital Acquired Disability (HAD) is often wrapped around the admitting diagnosis. Predicated on the lack of function due to weakness and immobility of the primary diagnosis, the patient’s increasing lack of functional ability can profoundly impact their discharge plan, return to previous life and function as well as their own mortality. HAD also has a profoundly negative impact on the hospital revenue cycle through increase length of stay, readmissions and hospital acquired conditions. Through collaboration with the hospital team, this diagnosis can be prevented by the Hospital Case Manager with early assessment, team intervention and communication. Identification of patients at risk by using different assessment tools will be discussed as well as an action plan to maintain and improve the patient’s function prior to discharge. Strategies for collaborating with the hospital team to prevent HAD will be discussed as well as a “call to action” for every Hospital Case Manager to prevent this diagnosis.