Virtual Discharge Assistant Cuts Readmissions, Costs

Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media , March 8, 2011

Louise proved extremely popular in the study, with patients noting that they like being able to sit as long as they want to with Louise and not feel rushed that a busy nurse or physician has to move on to other patients. In addition, many patients find it easier to answer some questions truthfully—for example, about whether they smoke—than with a live person.

Participants in the Project RED program reported feeling much more prepared for discharge and the study had excellent outcomes, preventing one ED readmission for every 7.3 patients in the study. The AHRQ is supplying funding to implement Project RED initiatives elsewhere in the country to expand the research project. Meaning it may not be long before a virtual discharge assistant is helping out with patients at your organization.

Read about Project RED and meet Louise.

Rebecca Hendren is a senior managing editor at HCPro, Inc. in Danvers, MA. She edits and manages The Leaders' Lounge blog for nurse managers. Email her at
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