NIATx Wisconsin Mental Health Readmissions Collaborative 2017

Submitted by: 12/01/2017 by Maureen Fitzgerald

Ten Wisconsin counties participated in the NIATx Wisconsin Mental Health Readmissions Collaborative 2017. The goal of the collaborative is to reduce mental health hospital readmissions and address other quality issues in the admission, care delivery, and treatment processes.

The collaborative launched with a NIATx Change Leader Academy in January 2017, where participants learned the basics of the NIATx model and how to use the four essential NIATx tools: the walk-through, flowcharting, the nominal group technique, and rapid-cycle (PDSA) testing. Over the next eight months, change teams in each county tested changes to make improvements in a specific process within their organizations.

Change teams reported on the results of their projects at a close-out meeting in October.  Ninety percent of the teams that completed a change project reduced their 30-day readmission rates from 2016 rates.   

 Sample successes include:

·       Dodge County used a series of rapid-cycle changes to reduce hospital readmissions from 8.9% at baseline to 3.9%. Changes included: making follow-up calls to clients within 72 hours of discharge from the hospital; making sure that clients were connected to the correct level of care upon discharge and continuing the follow-up calls; and completing a warm hand-off prior to hospital discharge. 

·       Monroe County reduced hospital readmission rates from 5% at baseline to 0 by creating a warm hand-off from inpatient treatment to the community service system.

·       Wood County reduced 30-day mental health readmissions from 16.7% in 2016 to 6% in 2017 by identifying and counseling patients at high risk for readmission within 72 hours of their hospital admission.

To view the all closeout presentations from 2017 participants, visit the NIATx Wisconsin Mental Health Readmissions Collaborative Resources page.

The NIATx Wisconsin Mental Health Collaborative began in 2010 as part of an effort to reduce the state’s psychiatric hospital readmissions rates. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services provides funding for the collaborative. A next round of the collaborative will begin in January 2018.

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