UK hospital patient discharge: the patient perspective
- Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
Objectives: Hospital discharge is a complex process that can result in errors and delays for patients, particularly around the supply of medicines and communication of information. To improve patient discharge, patient perspectives of the discharge service must be explored to determine where patients feel problems arise. This study aimed to explore inpatient perceptions and experiences of the current discharge process.\ud Methods: This study involved questionnaires with patients at a large city centre teaching hospital.\ud Results: A total of 104 inpatients participated, 60% (n=62) were male with an average age of 55 (age range\ud 19-93). Participants were from a range of medical, surgical and admissions wards. The majority, 71% of respondents (n=74) took regular medicines, with 65% (n=48) taking five or more medicines daily.\ud Most patients, 89% (n=87) were satisfied with their hospital discharge but felt that it took too long.\ud The perceived main cause of delay was waiting for medicines. Other highlighted issues included lack of counselling by pharmacists and the need for more patient involvement throughout the discharge process.\ud Conclusions: This study shows that certain aspects of the discharge process need improving to provide safe, quality care for patients and improve patient experience of discharge. The findings from this study will inform the development of a new model of care for patient discharge from hospital.
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