Speculative Diversion: Post-Hospital Syndrome (BBC World Service / NEJM / JAMA)

Summary

Dr Harlan Krumholz, based at the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation at Yale School of Medicine, has developed the concept of Post-Hospital Syndrome (PHS) as a tool for investigating the potential factors behind higher than expected re-admissions to hospital. PHS is considered to be “an acquired, transient period of generalised risk”, arising from “multiple insults” upon each patient’s wellbeing after admission to hospital.

The hypothesis-generating concept of PHS has already prompted the development of lists of dozens of suggested ways in which hospitals could reduce stress and thereby minimise the likelihood of unnecessary hospital re-admissions. The broad categories of quality improvement suggestions, regarding “Trauma-Reducing Innovations in Hospital Care”, comprise:

  1. Promoting personalisation.
  2. Ensuring patients receive enough rest and nourishment.
  3. Reducing stress, disruptions, and surprises.
  4. Reducing unnecessary tests and procedures.
  5. Reducing “random” medication alterations.
  6. Encouraging patient activity.
  7. Provision of a post-discharge safety net.

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Reference

Kremer, W. (2015). Does going into hospital make you sick? London: BBC World Service / BBC Health News, December 20th 2015.

Selected related references:

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Reference

Krumholz, HM. (2013). Post-hospital syndrome: an acquired, transient condition of generalized risk. New England Journal of Medicine. January 10th 2013; 368(2): 100-2.

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Reference

Detsky, AS. [and] Krumholz, HM. (2014). Reducing the trauma of hospitalization. JAMA. June 4th 2014; 311(21): 2169-70.