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Improving discharge planning communication between hospitals and patients



Improving discharge planning communication between hospitals and patients



Internal Medicine Journal 46(1): 57-62



A potential barrier to patient discharge from hospital is communication problems between the treating team and the patient or family regarding discharge planning. To determine if a bedside 'Leaving Hospital Information Sheet' increases patient and family's knowledge of discharge date and destination and the name of the key clinician primarily responsible for team-patient communication. This article is a 'before-after' study of patients, their families and the interdisciplinary ward-based clinical team. Outcomes assessed pre-implementation and post-implementation of a bedside 'Leaving Hospital Information Sheet' containing discharge information for patients and families. Patients and families were asked if they knew the key clinician for team-patient communication and the proposed discharge date and discharge destination. Responses were compared with those set by the team. Staff were surveyed regarding their perceptions of patient awareness of discharge plans and the benefit of the 'Leaving Hospital Information Sheet'. Significant improvement occurred regarding patients' knowledge of their key clinician for team-patient communication (31% vs 75%; P = 0.0001), correctly identifying who they were (47% vs 79%; P = 0.02), and correctly reporting their anticipated discharge date (54% vs 86%; P = 0.004). There was significant improvement in the family's knowledge of the anticipated discharge date (78% vs 96%; P = 0.04). Staff reported the 'Leaving Hospital Information Sheet' assisted with communication regarding anticipated discharge date and destination (very helpful n = 11, 39%; a little bit helpful n = 11, 39%). A bedside 'Leaving Hospital Information Sheet' can potentially improve communication between patients, families and their treating team.

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Accession: 058075421

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26439193

DOI: 10.1111/imj.12919


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