Quality Interventions Lead to Quicker Discharges

Standardizing discharge goals and implementing interventions to meet those goals can help hospitals discharge patients more quickly and efficiently, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal.

Researchers at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center developed a set of discharge criteria for pediatric patients as well as strategies and interventions to improve discharge timeliness.

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The criteria for discharge were embedded in the electronic health record upon admission and were time stamped when the patient met all the items. Interventions to improve discharge timeliness included earlier consultations with subspecialists, continual feedback to frontline staff and redesigning the pharmacy process.

In 18 months, the percentage of patients discharged within two hours increased from 42 percent to 80 percent. Additionally, median length of stay decreased by 7 percent, from 1.56 days to 1.44 days.

The study suggests standardized discharge goals and supplementing interventions can effectively reduce length of stay and improve timeliness of discharge.

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