Background Hospital re-admissions often contribute to unnecessary suffering and decreased quality of life for palliative care patients and their family members, particularly those approaching the end of life. Discharge summaries provide vital information to support healthcare professionals when making decisions about care settings and whether patients should be re-admitted to hospital. A baseline audit of hospice discharge summaries conducted between October 2022 and March 2023 found only 15% of discharge summaries contained information regarding patients’ preferences for hospice or hospital readmission.
Aim To improve communication between healthcare professionals regarding patients’ preferences for place and ceilings of care.
Methods A quality improvement project was conducted. The hospice discharge summary template was updated to include a specific section on ‘patient’s preferences regarding hospital admission’. Medical staff were updated about the changes and teaching provided to key members of staff regularly involved in writing discharge letters. A review of discharge summaries between April 2023 and May 2023 evaluated the impact of these changes.
Results Documentation of patients’ preferences for hospital admission improved 56% (15% (3/20) to 71% (5/7)) following the changes implemented. Information included in the most recent discharge summaries were that two patients would be for hospital admission, two were not for readmission and one patient had declined to discuss admission.
Conclusion We found an improvement in the documentation of patients’ preferences for hospital admission following changes made to our discharge template document. Reviewing and changing template documents can have important effects of the quality of information provided between care settings. Further audit and quality improvement cycles are planned.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.