In Whatcom County, like other counties across Western Washington, patients are leaving hospitals "quicker and sicker." As many as 20 percent of rapidly discharged patients experience medical complications within hours or days that take them back to the hospital emergency room. Common post-discharge problems include: inability to get help for basic needs, adverse medication reactions, infections, and worsening of chronic conditions.
To address these Medicare readmissions, Health Ministries Network is using the power of faith based nurses, and health ministers to advocate for those in our congregations to:
Help establish a safe healing environment that supplies basic needs
Encourage clients and caregivers with emotional and spiritual support
Promote use a Personal Health Record for tracking and documentation
Encourage follow-up contact with PCP to establish a proper medication regimen
Watch for the "red flags" of worsening condition
If we are successful, faith-based transitional care will become an established health practice in faith communities in Whatcom County and every congregate who needs one will have access to faith based nurse or health minister for a post discharge visit and follow-up calls once a week for one month.
The following downloadable tools are available to faith community nurses interested in providing care transitions services (scroll down to preview and download):
Faith based transitional care is funded by grants from the PeaceHealth Community Fund and Chuckanut Health Foundation.
To learn more, contact: