We know this, but it is great that others are discovering it too.
In a recent study, independent researchers determined that Occupational Therapy was the ONLY health profession to reduce hospital readmission for people with heart failure, pneumonia and acute myocardial infarction. In the article, occupational therapy is recognized to “place[s] a unique and immediate focus on patients’ functional and social needs, which can be important drivers of readmission if left unaddressed.”
The article highlights that occupational therapists answer the important question “can the patient be safely discharged to his or her environment” and are involved with patients to: educate caregivers, determine if people can live independently, provide devices, complete home safety assessments, assess and treat cognitive issues, and work with physical therapists to increase the intensity of inpatient rehabilitation.
It is wonderful to be recognized for the important part we play in preventing readmission, and to be acknowledged as a cost-effective provider of these essential services. I trust the impact of occupational therapy also spans across other inpatient populations like brain injury, orthopedics, neurology, and cancer recovery (to name a few) and I hope proving this is the focus of future articles.