February 28, 2024

Study: Nurses offer untapped potential to assess patient discharge readiness

Editor's Note

Although few strategies for reducing readmission rates leverage nurse input, nurses are well-placed to identify patients most at risk, according to a study published in the March issue of the journal Medical Care.

The authors note that older Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) continue to experience higher readmission rates despite a general decrease among in the wake of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. Seeking to examine the effect of nurse assessments on discharge readiness on 30-day readmissions, they conducted a cross-sectional study using data from 424 hospitals and assessments from thousands of nurses.

For each 10% increase in the proportion of nurses in a hospital who were confident in their patients’ discharge readiness, the odds of 30-day readmission decreased by 2% for patients with 2–4 MCCs and 3% for patients with ≥5 MCCs, relative to patients with 0–1 MCCs.“Nurse assessments of discharge readiness may be a useful signal for hospitals to reduce readmissions and examine factors interfering with discharge processes,” the study concludes.

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