As mentioned earlier the lowest score on Graham’s HCAHPS reflected only 50% reporting “Strongly Agree” that patients understood their care when they left the hospital (Illinois Department of Public Health, n.d.). The recommended organizational change is to improve patient discharge planning. Graham Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission. Having a process in place is required by the Joint Commission, stating the rational and situations surrounding the discharge or transfer of a patient and the process of transferring responsibility from one program, hospital, or treatment to another (Robeznieks, 2017). A process in place that meets the requirements has to be more than documentation of an event. Discharge planning needs to be included in the overall care plan that begins with admission and should include not only their providers but the patient, family or other caregivers involved with the patient. Providing a discharge planning checklist from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (2019), to the patient as a tool for them to use (or family/caregivers) upon admission, throughout the stay, and the transition to discharge is critical for improving communication and enhancing the discharge process. Patients and family/caregivers may not know what questions to ask while in the hospital until a situation
CONSULTATIVE CHANGE RECOMMENDATIONS 9 arises after discharge. This tool can guide them to ask questions during the stay and it allows for open lines of communication with those giving care, like the physician, nurse, nurse assistant. By opening the lines of communication with the patient and/or family/caregivers it builds an element of trust. With trust people are more willing to share any health barriers; and by sharing early it gives an opportunity to put solutions in place prior to discharge. The end result will be evident when there is an increase of the percentage on Graham’s HCAHPS reflecting more patients reporting that they “Strongly Agree” that patients understood their care when they left the hospital. Rationale for Recommended Change By successfully implementing a discharge planning tool, the weakness of HCAHPS scores reflecting only 50% marking “Patients who ‘Strongly Agree’ they understood their care when they left the hospital,” (Illinois Department of Public Health, n.s.), will accomplish more than improving a patient’s understanding of their care after discharge. Robeznieks (2019) states that with reimbursement models transitioning to value-base and the increasing prevalence of population health management, hospitals and health systems in general are placing a greater focus on patient discharge. He goes further to say that there can be a decline in readmission rates, that post-acute care providers, family/caregivers, and patients are essential parts of a good discharge plan, and to always consider social determinants of health during the discharge process.
- Fall '18
- Graham Hospitals