Date of Graduation

Fall 12-12-2014

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


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First Advisor

Danijela Pavlic


The setting for this Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) project was the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) at a level I trauma center in the Bay Area. The goal was to improve the discharge education performed by the PACU nurses to improve patient safety and decrease the chance of complications or readmissions to this hospital. With no clear instructions for how discharge teaching should be done, the nurses have many differing styles which leaves room for gaps in discharge planning. This influenced the implementation of the teach-back method during discharge planning in order to ensure proper education and increased patient understanding. A literature review revealed that the teach-back method has helped to decrease hospital readmissions and prevents complications patients may experience during home self-care. The Joint Commission, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement all state that the teach-back method for discharge planning is best practice. Project data was collected through observation, microsystem assessments and through nurse and patient surveys. Interventions included nurse education at staff meetings, one on one in-service educations and teach-back handouts. The pre-intervention nurse survey (n=26) showed that 80% of the nurses were familiar with the teach-back method while only 36% of nurses used teach-back during discharge planning regularly. The patient survey (n=25) revealed that patients were able to retain 68% of the information presented during discharge education. One on one in-service education on the teach-back method is still being conducted at this time, with high nurse satisfaction. Follow-up surveys will commence when 100% of the staff have completed the in-service. The expected final outcome of this project is the implementation of the teach-back method during discharge planning by all nurses and increased patient understanding of discharge education.