12 Oct 2017

The Importance of Rounds in Discharge Planning

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M. Lynn ODonnell - Vice President of Strategic Marketing

Using rounds for Discharge Planning helps hospitals and healthcare networks avoid that last minute scrambling that often occurs when trying to coordinate patient care.  To ensure the most successful Discharge Planning initiative, teams should round consistently so that everyone involved is in concert and aware of the discharge components.  While many seem to think this is a cumbersome process, discharge planning does not take any longer or require any more effort than traditional rounds.  In addition, it provides for some significant benefits.

How Does It Work?
Begin with scheduling a specific time on specific day(s) where those involved including doctors, pharmacists, nurses, case managers, and even finance review the discharge plan for the patient.  Keeping a consistent time each day means that these rounds become a routine part of the day.  During the round, teams should discuss items such as goals for the day, discharge needs, mobility progression, barriers to discharge, family and patient awareness.  The outcomes of these rounds help to drive focus areas for improvement so your discharge planning is optimized.  Finally, the key caregivers have the necessary information to communicate the discharge plan and all its steps to the patient and the family ensuring proper communication.

What are the Benefits Received? 

  • Improved Team Satisfaction.  With improved planning and communication, all participants feel a part of the process.  Everyone can be prepared, avoid interruptions in their day, and provide the best possible care.  This improves the satisfaction of your team.
  • Improved Patient Satisfaction.  All patients are anxious to leave the hospital so keeping them in the loop, ensuring they understand the post-discharge care requirements, as well as other items such as medication management etc., makes for a very happy and satisfied patient.
  • Increased Visibility.  Involving all of the standard team members ensures that each has awareness and visibility into the patient care plan.  This allows for appropriate preparation for discharge.
  • Transparent Communication.  Communication occurs between hospital personnel and with the patients.  Using Discharge Planning rounds improves communication between both the staff as well as the patient by having a formal process and defined schedule.
  • Eliminates Silos.  No department or individual works in a vacuum when you use Discharge Planning Rounds.  Information flows more easily across all disciplines in the hospital.
  • Decrease in Healthcare Resources. When a patient has been communicated to throughout their stay, has been fully educated and understands the discharge process there is a decrease in the use of additional healthcare resources going forward.

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