Feature June 29, 2022 John Bernot, MD

SNFs vs. recovery at home: Acquiring the data to determine the appropriate care setting for recovery after surgery

Learn how Ayva can help providers identify which patients should be sent to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to control costs and aid in an optimal recovery.

Ideally, patients return home to self-manage their recovery after a joint replacement or other surgical procedure. 

However, not all patients have the ability to recover safely or effectively at home and may be sent to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).1 Individuals over 70 years of age, those with comorbidities, and those who undergo more complicated procedures are more likely to require care that goes beyond what they can self-manage at home.2

Providers, though, must decide whether or not to send a patient to a SNF after surgery, often with little data to back their decision other than knowing a patient’s age and comorbidities. 

While clinicians can be confident their patients will be in a safe environment at a SNF, the cost of this level of care significantly impacts their health system or outpatient department’s bottom line. Sending a patient to a SNF for rehabilitation after surgery is the primary driver of total 90-day hospital costs.3 

Part of achieving the healthcare quadruple aim is controlling the ballooning costs of healthcare while ensuring patients experience optimal outcomes. Not all patients need skilled nursing care for optimal recovery—the key is identifying those that do.  

Continue reading to learn how a digital health tool can give providers and care teams the data they need to make a better-informed decision about which patients are sent to SNFs after surgery.

Deciding when a SNF is right for your patient

The right digital health tool can help you gain insight into your patients’ home lives, their ability to adhere to enhanced recovery (ERAS) protocols, and identify who is at risk for poor outcomes. Here’s how: 

  1. Designate a trusted caregiver to share information with. Enabling patients to select a family member or trusted friend to share information with is a strong indicator that your patient has a support system to aid recovery. Patient and family engagement is a critical component of the AHRQ Safety Program for Ambulatory Surgery.4
  2. Complete pre-op to-do lists. Knowing your patients have completed pre-op tasks, such as purchasing Hibiclens soap before surgery, is another strong indicator your patients are engaged and ready to self-manage their recovery at home.    
  3. Review recovery expectations and educational content. Offering patients educational content, including patient stories about the optimal recovery process, and requiring that they check off that they have read or watched the information, gives care teams added confidence that patients are engaged in their recovery. 
  4. Make progress in controlling chronic conditions. Demonstrating that they have followed protocols and made progress in managing a chronic condition like diabetes is another data point providers can use to assess a patient’s ability to self-manage their recovery. 

Use Ayva to inform the appropriate care setting for recovery

Identifying which patients need the additional care of a skilled nursing facility and those who will thrive at home after a surgical procedure is critical to reducing the overall cost of care while providing optimal outcomes for patients. 

However, lacking patient data beyond single patient-provider encounters can leave providers caught between a rock and a hard place. 

Ayva, a dynamic patient engagement platform, can close that knowledge gap and arm providers with the data they need to recommend the most appropriate care setting for recovery after a surgical procedure.

 Meet Ayva today!

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Bravado Health

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