Matheny has completed the first year of its program, designed to improve the quality of transition care for patients who are admitted to acute care hospitals, and the initial results have been very favorable. A grant from the Robert Wood Johnson New Jersey Health Initiatives program enabled us to provide transitional nursing care to inpatients, residents of our group homes and outpatients from the Matheny Center of Medicine Dentistry.
In the first year of this program’s operation, from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, twenty-eight patients were followed into and from our partner hospitals Morristown Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and Somerset Medical Center in Somerville. The program ensured a smooth transition among care settings and the transmittal of vitally important patient information, such as a patient’s medical history and suggested strategies for communicating with non-verbal patients. In addition, information about individual orthopedic and positioning needs and other specific medical needs were readily available.
The project’s goal was to reduce the number of hospital readmissions of patients with developmental disabilities. The readmission rate of Matheny patients since the project’s beginning has been 7.1%. In the 10-month period immediately preceding the start of the program, the readmission rate was 25%.