|Promotional refrigerator magnets are a simple, inexpensive giveaway that is associated with pizza delivery more than heart surgery, but that may change. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal showcased a little magnet that made a big difference in the lives of heart attack victims. In this case, the magnet simply had a checklist of heart failure symptoms and a place to put the name and phone number of the patient’s doctor.|
As hospitals work to improve the quality and consistency of care it has often been surprising how effective low-tech solutions like checklists can be. In this case, the magnets were part of a larger effort to decrease readmissions by increasing the level of instruction and attention given outside the hospital. With almost 18% of Medicare patients being readmitted within 30 days of a hospital discharge, programs like this are able to have a surprising impact on the quality of care, and reduce costs dramatically. Some statistics show that almost half of readmissions could be prevented. That’s a lot of good from a little magnet!