"Can we just stop and talk?" patients value verbal communication about discharge care plans.

Link to article at PubMed

"Can we just stop and talk?" patients value verbal communication about discharge care plans.

J Hosp Med. 2012 Mar 23;

Authors: Shoeb M, Merel SE, Jackson MB, Anawalt BD

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Studies show that hospitalized patients often do not understand their postdischarge care plan. There are few studies about patients' preferences regarding the content of discharge care plans. OBJECTIVE: To identify what patients view as essential elements of a post-hospitalization plan. DESIGN: Anonymous written survey distributed on the second day of admission to internal medicine wards. SETTING: An academic tertiary care hospital and an academic county hospital in Seattle, Washington. PATIENTS: Two hundred English-speaking adult inpatients ?18 years or their proxies. RESULTS: The majority of patients (64.5%) surveyed wanted verbal discharge instructions, with only 10.5% requesting written instructions (P < 0.0001). One hundred percent of patients valued the following discharge instructions as essential: "when you need to follow-up with [primary care provider] PCP," "warning signs to call PCP," and "medicines to continue post-hospitalization." One hundred percent of patients wanted "a lot of information about my condition" and "test results," but only 39% wanted "a lot of information about my medications" (P < 0.0001). When asked to choose the most important piece of discharge instruction related to their disease, 67.5% of patients chose "lifestyle changes." One hundred percent of patients thought that personal communication between the inpatient provider and the outpatient primary care provider was "extremely important" or "essential." CONCLUSION: Patients uniformly placed high value on: 1) verbal communication about discharge care plans; 2) information about lifestyle changes for improved health; and 3) personal communication between inpatient and outpatient providers. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2012. © 2012 Society of Hospital Medicine.

PMID: 22447649 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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