Medically unnecessary, potentially preventable transfers of nursing home (NH) residents to acute care poses multiple risks for residents. Family and resident insistence on these preventable transfers has not been thoroughly addressed in transfer reduction programs.
The Diffusion of Innovation model guided dissemination of an evidence-based patient decision guide that addressed resident and family insistence on hospital transfer. Twenty workshops were held across eight states of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Region IV. All Medicare-certified NHs in Region IV received emailed invitations to the workshops in their states. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected on workshop attendees, the facilities they represented, and response to the workshop including adoption of the Guide and its effect on hospital readmissions.
Altogether, 1124 facility representatives and affiliated professionals attended the workshops. NH administrators rated the program 4.4 out of 5. Of those who responded, 71% said that they were using the Guide as a result of the workshop; 89% of these said that it was helpful, especially to initiate difficult conversations about end-of-life care and to discuss the care a contemporary NH can provide. Readmission rates dropped 30% in the NHs that reported their results.
The use of the Diffusion of Innovation model was effective in delivering information to a large number of facilities in sufficient detail to implement the Decision Guide. However, the workshop format provided little opportunity to respond to concerns that arose after the workshops, to diffuse the innovation further, or to build sustainability.