PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT, DIRECTOR OF OBSERVATION MEDICINE AT CARROLL HOSPITAL
Every day when he arrives at work at Carroll Hospital, Edwin Tenali has one goal: no readmitted patients.
As the director of observation medicine at the hospital, Tenali works to discharge patients in 24 hours or less as their conditions improve and final testing is done. The unit has rapid turnover, and in his four years as director, Tenali has worked to implement initiatives to discharge patients in a way that sets them up for successful, continued healing.
One of those initiatives is a post-discharge call, which he places to each patient about a day after they leave the observation unit. These calls help him identify if there are any problems the patient is having that might have been missed during discharge and need to be addressed.
Additionally, Tenali provides his patients with a simple discharge summary, breaking down the summary of care they received in bullet points. He also provides exact instructions for medications, why a patient might need to take that medication and any therapy or follow-up appointments that might be required. He finishes with a personal note to the patient, wishing them continued good health.
Tenali has also implemented theme days into the daily work week of the observation unit to help with staff and patient morale. Reactions to days like Fun Friday, where patients get to pick a prize from the prize box, or Pet Therapy Thursday, where therapy dogs come in to meet the patients, are “amazing,” Tenali said.
“The level of joy it brings and trust it fosters far, far outweighs the simple effort it takes to coordinate these observances.”
Tenali earned his Bachelor of Science degree in physician assistant studies from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.