Post-visit phone calls: Reducing preventable readmissions and improving the patient experience

Regina Shupe


Post-visit phone calls reinforce discharge instructions, improve clinical outcomes (by extending care outside the walls of the hospital), and address the new urgency of preventable readmissions due to at-risk hospital reimbursement under the Affordable Care Act. And yet, new data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services show stagnant performance on preventable hospital readmissions nationwide for heart attacks, heart failure, and pneumonia. This article offers guidelines for effective post-visit phone calls, describing how and when to make calls and suggesting recommended questions for post-visit calls. Appropriate goals for contact rates in various clinical settings, methods for ensuring staff compliance, and best practices to improve the patient experience and reduce preventable readmissions are identified.


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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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