Measuring discharge quality based on elderly patients’ experiences with discharge conversation: a cross-sectional study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Background: Discharge conversation is an essential part of preparing patients for the period after hospitalisation. Successful communication during such conversations is associated with improved health outcomes for patients. Objective: To investigate the association between discharge conversation and discharge quality assessed by measuring elderly patients’ experiences. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we surveyed all patients ≥65 years who had been discharged from two medical units in two hospitals in Western Norway 30 days prior. We measured patient experiences using two previously validated instruments: The Discharge Care Experiences Survey Modified (DICARES-M) and The Nordic Patient Experiences Questionnaire (NORPEQ). We examined differences in characteristics between patients who reported having a discharge conversation with those who did not, and used regression analyses to examine the associations of the DICARES-M and NORPEQ with the usefulness of discharge conversation. Results: Of the 1418 invited patients, 487 (34%) returned the survey. Their mean age was 78.5 years (SD=8.3) and 52% were women. The total sample mean scores for the DICARES-M and NORPEQ were 3.9 (SD=0.7, range: 1.5–5.0) and 4.0 (SD=0.7, range: 2.2–5.0), respectively. Higher DICARES-M and NORPEQ scores were found for patients who reported having a discharge conversation (74%) compared with those who did not (15%), or were unsure (11%) whether they had a conversation (p<0.001). Patients who considered the conversation more useful had significantly higher scores on both the DICARES-M and NORPEQ (p<0.001). Conclusions: Reported discharge conversation at the hospital was correlated with positive patient experiences measurements indicating the increased quality of hospital discharge care. The reported usefulness of the conversation had a significant association with discharge care quality.