BACKGROUND: In 2009, our facility established the goal that 70% of patients with discharge orders would be discharged by noon. The orthopaedic unit was not meeting this goal but saw an opportunity to standardize the discharge process for total joint replacement patients.
PURPOSE: The purposes of this article were (1) to describe the implementation of a discharge brunch and (2) to determine whether the implementation of this discharge brunch led to an earlier discharge time.
METHODS: A discharge brunch with group discharge instruction was implemented on an inpatient orthopaedic unit for patients who had a total joint replacement. Patient data from our electronic medical record, March–December 2012, were used to compare discharge time of patients who attended the brunch with those who did not.
RESULTS: A total of 392 joint replacement patients were discharged between March and December 2012. Of those, 234 attended the discharge brunch. Patients who attended the brunch were discharged by 11:20 a.m., compared with a discharge time of 1:10 p.m. for those who did not attend the brunch, and more patients who attended the brunch were likely to be discharged by noon than those who did not attend the brunch (76% vs. 39%, p < .001).
CONCLUSION: Nursing units with standardized discharge teaching should consider implementing a discharge brunch for groups of patients to help achieve goals of discharging patients before noon.