AN OPEN access to AJOT’s latest publication.
In my opinion, it is an easy read yet a reminder as to the possible expansion of the role of occupational therapy in reducing acute hospital readmissions. Too many a time have I witnessed the phenomenon at my workplace. Patients getting readmitted because of recurrent falls, because of not knowing how to cope with an asthma exacerbation, because of an infected gangrene foot progressively affecting the leg, because of functional decline.
The authors have a good point to make that occupational therapists should be optimally positioned to facilitate post-discharge, considering even follow-up interventions in the homes. While it is easy to assess and provide interventions in the hospital, we must take caution that it is not the environment that patients would ultimately live in. By positioning ourselves in the community or in a primary care setting where services are readily available to facilitate the transition from hospital to home – we can encourage self-management. Self-management in ADLs, in keeping active, in falls prevention, in managing chronic diseases.
In the article , the authors also mentioned five Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC) that occupational therapists that positively influence through our interventions: Injuries from falls and immobility, pressure ulcers, deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (DVT-PE), poor glycemic control and venous thromboembolism (VTE).
The overarching frame to intervening these factors is taking on a preventive approach to healthcare, and the promotion of self-management in patient’s daily lives.
We are currently not doing enough in Singapore, focussing instead on a secondary approach to healthcare and having high volumes of occupational therapy graduates in the acute hospitals. I supposed we also need to ramp up our own research in the area; after all evidence is key to make changes in systems and processes. If it effective, it is then consumable. Question is: Are we open enough to accept change and to do more?
Published by the American Association of Occupational Therapists (AOTA), the article can be downloadable on their website.
Click here to download.