7-Day Pledge

Connecting patients to primary care post-hospital discharge

Care management & redesign Strengthening ecosystems of care Quality improvement

One of the major initiatives of the Camden Coalition Accountable Care Organization (ACO), the 7-Day Pledge was a citywide program that aimed to reduce avoidable hospitalizations in Camden by removing barriers to rapid primary care follow-up after patients were discharged from the hospital. As part of this program, we asked partner organizations across Camden to pledge that their patients were linked to follow-up care within seven days after leaving the hospital — and work with us to implement workflows to facilitate these connections.

We developed the 7-Day Pledge in response to research that showed that inadequate post-discharge follow-up is a key factor in many preventable hospital readmissions.

The 7-Day Pledge worked: in an article published in the American Medical Association’s JAMA Network Open journal in January 2019, we shared our findings that patients who had primary care appointments within seven days of hospital discharge had significantly lower numbers of 30- and 90-day hospital readmissions.

The 7-Day Pledge was the precursor to our Pledge to Connect program, which applies the lessons we learned connecting patients to primary care to improve connections between emergency departments and outpatient behavioral healthcare.

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