A Crystal Ball to Aid Hospital Discharge Planning

June 1, 2019

As per Benjamin Franklin, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Who would have thought that words spoken more than 200 years ago would so aptly apply today to the situation when patients transition after hospitalization? Indeed, instead of properly preparing for a patient's discharge through comprehensive, timely discharge planning, hospitals often initiate these moves hastily, resulting in preventable adverse outcomes such as medication errors and unnecessary rehospitalizations. The failure of quality discharge planning becomes increasingly important as hospitals and nursing homes are held accountable for clinical and financial outcomes, with penalties for poor performance.