Efficient Discharge Instruction and Effective Patient Communication to Prevent Readmission

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The American Nurses Association (ANA) defined discharge planning as, "part of the continuity of care process which is designed to prepare the patient for the next phase of care and to assist in making any necessary arrangements for that phase of care" (Rose, 2010, P. 47). Discharge planning is a continued and ongoing process that allows the health care team to bring the patient to an appropriate level of care. Significant amounts of research supports that preparing the family for discharge has become more complex over the last several years. According to researcher Cheryl Kornburger (2013) “The current emphasis on shorter hospital stays results in patients and their caregivers being discharged from the hospital with much more complex and complicated home care instructions” (Kornburger, 2013 p 282). To tackle this problem the importance of “Teach Back” or return demonstration in discharge instruction was highlighted. This method helps the nursing staff to validate the understanding of information presented to the patient prior to being discharged.
Review of the Research Literature
One of the most important elements in discharge teaching is the concept of health literacy. This can be defined as: “…the ability of the patient to understand and obtain basic health information services,” (Kornburger, 2013 p. 288). This information is to help patient better understand about their illness and treatment. Another research done by Weiss (2007) states that, “The relationship between limited health literacy
and poorer health occurs in all socioeconomic groups and in many disease states”. This researcher also adds that 89 to 90 million adults in the United States have limited health literacy. Given this data, it is possible ...

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... Nurses, 19(1), 47.
Suzanne Bench, MSc, PGDipHE, BSc (Hons), RGN Tina Day, PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons), RN, Cert Ed RNT, Peter Griffiths, PhD and BA (Hons), RN (2013). Effectiveness of critical care Discharge Information in Supporting Early Recovery From Critical Illness. Critical Care Nurses, 33(3), 41-51. Retrieved on February 10,2014, from
Weiss, B. D. (2007). Health literacy and patient safety: Help patients understand
Retrieved on March 20, 2014, from

Zeng-Treitler, Q. Kim, H. & Hunter, M. (2008). Improving patient comprehension and recall of discharge instructions by supplementing free texts with pictographs. In AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings (Vol. 2008, p. 849). American Medical Informatics Association

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