Comprehensive discharge protocol improves patient satisfaction

Minimizing readmissions is a hefty charge—one that involves myriad variables before, during and after patient discharge. New research examines a standardized, in-hospital discharge program, known as Project ReEngineered Discharge (RED), developed by Brian Jack, MD, chief of family medicine at the Boston University Medical Center.

Project RED began in 2007, as a method for decreasing readmission by promoting patient safety and reducing emergency department visits. It involves a color-coded plan for patients with information on medication and follow-up appointments.

The findings were published online July 6 in Journal of Patient Experience.

"Improving patient experience by helping them better understand how to care for themselves in the transition from hospital to home means that we're improving their overall quality of care while decreasing hospital readmission and decreasing the cost of care—which is our primary goal," said Jack, who was the study lead author.

The research team examined survey data from patients who were involved in Project RED during inpatient care in an urban safety net hospital. Compared to those receiving a standard discharge, RED patients were happier with provided instructions. A majority (61 percent) said instructions were “very good” compared to just 35 from the control group.