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Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital

Project RED Success Story

Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital reduced its readmission rate from a high of 38% to under 10% while improving collaboration across disciplines and engaging staff in preparing patients for discharge.

According to Project Lead Dawn Clark, Project RED was a very inclusive process that helped staff and physicians to feel engaged and increased the cooperation and camaraderie among participants.  With help from JCR, some modifications were made to the program by the staff, such as making the discharge advocate responsible for monitoring national guidelines so that patient discharge plans would be as current with the guidelines as possible and as soon as practical.

Another innovation, described by Denise Majeski, Director of Care Management, was to locate and work with the community placements that were contributing to readmissions.  When the readmission rate failed to come down as fast as the team expected, they looked at their data and found that a few skilled nursing facilities were disproportionately contributing to readmissions.  They then contacted these facilities and were able to engage them in working together on Project RED.

The impact on patients was also apparent.  According to Ms. Clark, one patient stated, “I used to hate hospitals and didn’t really care about my health.  Now I want to take care of myself because I can tell you really care about me too.”

Comments from staff were also very positive, such as one staff person reporting that “when we promote health and patient compliance so patients can remain at home in their community, then we know we are providing safe, quality patient care.