A Quality and Cost Analysis of Nurse Practice Predictors of Readiness for Hospital Discharge and Post-Discharge Outcomes

Improving how patients are discharged from the hospital to reduce unnecessary readmissions is a critical issue now being debated at the national level. With one in five elderly readmitted to the hospital within 30 days at an annual cost to Medicare of $17 billion, policymakers are seeking cost-effective solutions to better transition patients from hospital to home. Researchers at Marquette University, led by Marianne Weiss and Olga Yakusheva, have been studying what hospital-based nurses do to influence outcomes after a patient is discharged from a hospital. Specifically, they identified the contributions that nursing staff make to the quality of discharge teaching and the impact of that teaching on patient outcomes, readiness and readmission rates of patients who are discharged home. They have found that when units had more RN hours per patient day, fewer overtime hours and fewer vacancies, the discharge teaching was of higher quality, patients reported greater readiness for hospital discharge, and post-discharge utilization of readmission and emergency room visits was lower.

The project findings are presented in a research brief on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's website.

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Interprofessional collaboration (R2)
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