AHRQ Report Defines Elements of High-Quality ED Discharge Process
A new AHRQ report outlines a conceptual framework of the emergency department discharge process and identifies elements of a high-quality ED discharge process. “Improving the Emergency Department Discharge Process: Environmental Scan Report” identifies best practices, tools, strategies or approaches for addressing problem areas and criteria/outcomes for assessing their effectiveness.
The report defines a high-quality ED discharge as one that contains the following:
- Informs and educates patients on their diagnosis, prognosis, treatment plan, and expected course of illness, including treatments, tests and procedures.
- Supports patients in receiving post-ED discharge care including medications, home care and/or further evaluation among others.
- Coordinates the ED care within the context of the wider healthcare system (other healthcare providers, social services, etc.).
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 that have been shown to improve the discharge process and evaluate them
- Screening tools that have been used to predict hospital readmission and ED revisits and evaluate them
“Improving the Emergency Department Discharge Process: Environmental Scan Report” is available on the AHRQ Web site.