"Learning by doing"–resident perspectives on developing competency in high-quality discharge care.

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"Learning by doing"--resident perspectives on developing competency in high-quality discharge care.

J Gen Intern Med. 2012 Sep;27(9):1188-94

Authors: Greysen SR, Schiliro D, Curry L, Bradley EH, Horwitz LI

BACKGROUND: Reducing readmissions and post-discharge adverse events by improving the quality of discharge care has become a national priority, yet we have limited understanding about how physicians learn to provide high-quality discharge care.
METHODS: We conducted in-depth, in-person interviews with housestaff physicians with qualitative analysis by a multi-disciplinary team using the constant comparative method to explore learning about high-quality discharge care as a systems-based practice and to identify opportunities to improve training around these concepts.
RESULTS: We analyzed interview transcripts from 29 internal medicine residents: 17 (59 %) were interns (PGY-2 or PGY-3), 12 (41 %) seniors, and 17 (59 %) were female. We identified a recurrent theme of lack of formal training about the discharge process, substantial peer-to-peer instruction, and "learning by doing" on the wards. Within this theme, we identified five specific concepts related to systems-based practice and high-quality discharge care which residents learned during residency: (1) teamwork and the interdisciplinary nature of discharge planning; (2) advanced planning strategies to anticipate challenges in the discharge process; (3) patient safety and the concept of a "safe discharge;" (4) patient continuity of care and learning from post-discharge outcomes and; (5) documentation of discharge plans as a valuable skill.
CONCLUSIONS: Discharge care is an overlooked opportunity to teach concepts of systems-based practice explicitly as learning about discharge care is unstructured and individual experiences may vary considerably. Educational interventions to standardize learning about discharge care may improve the development of systems-based practice during residency and help improve the overall quality of discharge care at teaching hospitals.

PMID: 22566172 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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