Following a hospital stay, many patients—and their caregivers—hold the belief that they’re “out of the woods,” so to speak. That going home and resting will be the best remedy.

But despite the marvels of modern medicine, about one-fifth of Medicaid patients in the United States end up being re-admitted to the hospital within 30 days. Why does this happen, and how can it be prevented?

The real problem
Healthcare experts point to a number of different causes, one of which is “post-hospital syndrome,” a condition brought on by lack of sleep, physical and emotional stress, and general confusion from an unfamiliar environment during your stay. 

Studies from the Yale School of Medicine found yet another huge obstacle to post-hospital wellbeing. Hospital physicians don’t generally communicate with outpatient clinicians (known as “discontinuation of care”), and so once patients are discharged, their follow-up doctor may not be aware of the patient’s actual needs. “[Hospitals] don’t do a great job of helping patients understand what is wrong with them, or what they need to do when they return home,” said Leona Horwitz, author for the Yale studies.

Skilled nursing care
And that’s exactly where skilled nursing care comes in. Having care between your hospital stay and your return home not only aids in your recovery, but it prevents you from going back. Whether you’re on new medication or recovering from open heart surgery, having expert medical care in your home can make a real difference. Nurses monitor vital signs to see if you’re truly recovering. They can help with getting around, if the stairs seem a little daunting. Or they can help with everyday tasks that are essential to your wellbeing.

It’s important to know that you’re not alone after your hospital stay. Embassy Healthcare offers skilled nursing care (or homecare) to patients, and can recommend the best course of treatment for a full recovery.