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Standardized Discharge Planning Assessments: Impact on Patient Outcomes

Holland, Diane E. PhD, RN; Bowles, Kathryn H. PhD, RN, FAAN

doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0b013e31824ebc59

The purpose of the study was to determine whether a difference exists in patient-reported problems and unmet needs after discharge when a standardized discharge planning assessment is added to usual care by staff nurses. Two groups of 130 adult patients were enrolled while hospitalized. The intervention group patients reported fewer unmet needs (P = .01) and had fewer problems complying with their discharge instructions (P = .04). Standardizing discharge planning assessments by staff nurses may improve identification of continuing care needs.

Department of Nursing, and College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota (Dr Holland); and NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Dr Bowles).

Correspondence: Diane E. Holland, PhD, RN, Department of Nursing and College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Eisenberg Bldg, SL-41, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905 (

This study was funded by NINR T32 grant NR009356, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, and the Nursing Research and Evaluation Committee, Department of Nursing, Mayo Clinic.

The authors thank Joel Pacyna for his review of the manuscript.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Accepted for publication February 6, 2012.

Published online before print: March 20, 2012.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.