Discharge planning is the development of an individualised discharge plan for the patient prior to leaving hospital, with the aim of containing costs and improving patient outcomes. Discharge planning should ensure that patients are discharged from hospital at an appropriate time in their care and that, with adequate notice, the provision of other services will be organised. A review of the effects of individualised discharge plans was conducted. After searching for relevant studies, 24 studies were found which compared discharge plans tailored to the individual patients with routine discharge care that was not individualised. This review indicates that a structured discharge plan tailored to the individual patient probably brings about a reduction in hospital length of stay and readmission rates, and an increase in patient satisfaction. The impact on health outcomes is uncertain.
Discharge planning from hospital to home
31 January 2013
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