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J Gen Intern Med. 1996 Mar;11(3):179-81.

Effects of a postdischarge clinic on housestaff satisfaction and utilization of hospital services.

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  • 1Section of Ambulatory Care, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, NC 27705, USA.


This randomized, controlled clinical trial evaluated the effect of a postdischarge clinic on housestaff education and patient utilization of hospital services. Medicine housestaff were randomized either to attend a clinic once a week in which they saw all eligible patients they had recently discharged from the hospital, or to continue with usual discharge practices. We enrolled 751 patients, 312 on intervention teams and 439 on control teams. Intervention housestaff did not feel that the clinic took too much time and felt that they better knew how patients did after discharge. Fewer intervention patients had emergency room visits (28.0% to 20.8%, p = .03) in the 30 days after discharge. Length of stay, readmission rates, and mortality were similar for the two groups. We conclude that a postdischarge clinic can improve resident education and reduce postdischarge emergency room utilization.

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