Minimizing Inpatient Readmissions Through the Use of Discharge Phone Calls

Date of Graduation

Winter 12-2015

Document Access

Restricted Project/Capstone - USF access only

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Discharge phone call is a new approach that many hospitals are utilizing to ensure a patient’s safe transition home. A study showed that 65 percent of patients said, during hospitalization, no one discussed about managing their care at home (Clark et al., 2005). Hospital reimbursements are based on performance measures for patient satisfaction, as well as 30-day readmission rates, hospitals are seeking alternatives to improve the patient experience and prevent readmissions (D’Amore et al., 2011). Discharge phone call provides an opportunity for the patient to ask questions, while allowing healthcare providers to assess the patient’s understanding of the discharge instructions. We piloted the discharge phone call on the surgical unit. The targeted population were those anticipating to be discharge home with a urinary catheter. Nurses were provided with two inservices and a discharge checklist to review key teaching points for patients going home with urinary catheter/ leg bag. Over 50 percent of nurses attended the inservices. A poster board was created highlighting 10 easy steps to follow when teaching patients anticipating discharge with a catheter. Follow up phone calls were made within 48hrs after discharge to ensure quality teaching and that all concerns were answered. Post inservices, nurses were more comfortable and confident with educating and discharging patient with a urinary catheter. During the piloted period, results from the discharge phone calls showed that patients did not have any signs and symptoms of infection but instead other concerns were found and addressed on a as needed basis. Discharge phone call is still new and needs further research

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