Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a Framework to Reduce Hospital Readmissions: The BASES Tool

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Roseberry, Donna
Master of Leadership Development
This Master of Leadership Development thesis project is a proposal for a hospital discharge navigation framework known as the BASES tool. The tool is intended to reduce the incidence of 30-day hospital readmission by viewing each patient’s goals at discharge through the lens of the Maslow Hierarchy. This theory asserts that humans possess needs in a particular and predictable order, starting from basic physiological needs to self-actualization. The BASES tool is simple, low cost, and easy to use. It can guide hospital discharge navigators in addressing basic needs that have been shown to be central to successful transitions of care before addressing needs that are more complex. This thesis discusses the history of the legislation in the United States that led to a focus on hospital readmissions. This focus has raised an acute awareness of the cost, burden, and harm that results when patients return to the hospital too soon. Statistics show that despite great efforts, hospital readmission rates have not decreased significantly in the past ten years; therefore, this writer proposes that a fresh approach to hospital discharge processes are needed. The research presented illustrates the benefits of following Maslow’s framework during the hospital discharge process. It also covers a variety of best practices already employed by other healthcare organizations, calling on their successes in developing the BASES tool. Financial considerations of the tool are provided, along with an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Lastly, the challenges and practical applications of the tool are presented.