Effect of an Intervention to Improve Team Coordination on Patients Who are Likely to be Discharged by General Internal Medicine

Main Article Content

Lina Pham BA
Teri Arany
William Coke MD
Vivian Lo
Robert C. Wu MD

patient discharge, in predicting discharges, coordination for discharges, control vs intervention, discharge planning tools, structured interdisciplinary rounds, improve operational efficiency, intervention to improve

Abstract

Effective discharge planning is important to ensuring a high quality of patient care and operational efficiency. The general internal medicine (GIM) environment is very complex and fluid, with multiple health professions providing care for patients. This makes coordination of discharges difficult, even with structured daily interprofessional rounds.

The purpose of this case-control study was to evaluate a discharge notification form that predicts next-day discharges. The main measures of the study, which took place in GIM wards at two academic teaching hospitals, were the completion and accuracy of the discharge forms, length of stay, discharge times, post-discharge admissions, and emergency department visits.

Seventy-six of 200 patients studied had information completed on the discharge notification form. The overall effect appeared to move discharges earlier in the day, while having no effect on length of stay.
Patients whose information was completed on the discharge notification form were less likely to have an emergency department visit within 30 days post-discharge.

The use of a discharge notification form appears to move discharges earlier in the day, without increasing length of stay. Further refinement and evaluation is necessary to increase usage and assess the impact on
outcomes of care.

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