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Clin Nurse Spec. 1994 Sep;8(5):248-52, 288.

Collaborative discharge planning: nursing and social services.


Discharge planning impacts hospital costs and patient outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a structured discharge planning program using collaboration between the CNS and the social worker. The quasi-experimental study used a sample of 64 elderly patients. The experimental group (n = 29) had discharge planning directed through collaboration by a CNS and a social worker. After discharge, patients were contacted by telephone about satisfaction and services received. Charts were reviewed for information about length of stay, readmission, and documentation. Data analysis revealed that patients involved in collaborative planning were more satisfied, had a shorter length of stay, had fewer readmissions, and received a higher rate of indicated postdischarge services. Documentation was not significantly affected, except in the area of patient teaching, which was lower in the experimental group. Based on these findings, the collaborative model offers nurse administrators a way to improve outcomes for patients and the organization.

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