Principles of the Re-Engineered Hospital Discharge
- Comprehensive written discharge plan provided to patient prior to discharge
- Discharge information in patient's language and literacy level
- Reinforcement of plan with patient after discharge
- Availability of case management staff outside of limited daytime hours
- Continuous quality improvement of discharge processes
A complete Patient Care Plan is provided to the patient before he or she leaves. This plan is in the patient’s language and in terms the patient understands. To assist with a well-planned discharge, case management support is available beyond the usual Monday through Friday daytime hours. This does not necessarily mean the case manager is present but is at least reachable by phone. The Patient Care Plan is reinforced with the patient with a phone call 48 to 72 hours after the patient is discharged. This call should be considered more of a clinical call to assess the patient’s status and the patient’s understanding of the care plan and of his or her medications. It is not intended to be a call to gauge how satisfied the patient was with his or her care nor is it a call to ask about how well prepared for discharge the patient was. Module 3 will give details about the post-discharge phone call to the patient.
Project RED’s tenth principle emphasizes the need to regularly assess and improve the entire discharge process.