Telephone follow-up by primary care for patients discharged from hospital

Added April 20, 2020

Citation: Crocker JB, Crocker JT, Greenwald J. Telephone follow-up as a primary care intervention for post discharge outcomes improvement: a systematic review. American Journal of Medicine 2012; 125(9): 915-21

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a great strain on healthcare services. Telephone follow up after discharge from hospital might be used to try to reduce post-discharge emergency department visits and hospital readmissions, and to improve outcomes for patients.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for research evaluating the impact of telephone follow-up by people based in primary care on hospital readmissions and emergency department visits after adult patients had been discharged from hospital. They did their search in December 2011. They included 3 randomized trials (1765 participants), all of whom had been discharged from general medicine inpatient units at academic teaching hospitals.

What was found: Post discharge primary care contact was improved as a result of telephone follow up.

None of the studies showed a significant reduction in hospital readmissions or emergency department visits following primary care-based telephone follow up.

One study indicated that patients at higher risk of readmission would benefit more from telephone follow up.

What’s uncertain: The core components of an ideal telephone follow-up intervention have not been standardized.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

Share