Prof Case Manag. 2023 Mar-Apr 01;28(2):74-78. doi: 10.1097/NCM.0000000000000588.
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: Discharge delays are frustrating to patients, staff, and families. Case managers need a better understanding of what type of patient may experience a discharge delay so they can better prepare patients and families or avoid the discharge delay before it happens.
PRIMARY PRACTICE SETTINGS: Hospital.
FINDINGS/CONCLUSIONS: Discharge delays are exasperating to all involved, as they take up precious time and resources of case managers and make patients and families feel like there is an unclear plan. There are actions a case manager can take to lessen the burden of a discharge delay. Actions such as having a rapid discharge plan once the home environment is deemed inappropriate and making sure families and patients are communicated with frequently about their plan of care can decrease or avoid a discharge delay.
IMPLICATIONS FOR CASE MANAGEMENT PRACTICE: Case managers need to know how to identify a patient who might experience a delay in their discharge early, so they can assist the patient and family to ease their stress by explaining limitations and realistic timelines. By identifying a patient who will be experiencing a delay in their discharge due to postacute lack of staffing, care managers can alert families that finding other options for discharge might be more satisfactory. By screening a patient and identifying their needs early, a discharge delay can be shortened or avoided.