AHRQ Report Defines Elements of High-Quality Emergency Department Discharge Process
A new AHRQ report outlines a conceptual framework of the emergency department (ED) discharge process and identifies elements of a high-quality discharge process. “Improving the Emergency Department Discharge Process: Environmental Scan Report” identifies best practices, tools, strategies and approaches for addressing problem areas and criteria/outcomes for assessing their effectiveness. Developed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, the report can be used by hospital EDs to identify:
- What constitutes an effective discharge process and what constitutes discharge failures.
- Socioeconomic or medical factors that increase a patient’s risk for a discharge failure.
- Intervention tools or strategies shown to improve the discharge process.
- Screening tools that have been used to predict hospital readmission and ED revisits.
Improving the Emergency Department Discharge Process
Millions of patients visit hospital emergency departments (EDs) each year for a variety of injuries and ailments. It is crucial for these patients to receive appropriate preparation for their return home so that they can properly manage their recovery. ED discharge failure, such as ED return within 72 hours or more, carries significant clinical implications for patients, including unfinished treatments and progression of illness. But there is only limited understanding of such risk factors currently. This report presents the purpose, methods, and results of an environmental scan on existing literature in this area.
- Improving the Emergency Department Discharge Process [ PDF File, 960 KB ]
Page last reviewed December 2014