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Introducing an electronic tracking tool into daily multidisciplinary discharge rounds on a medicine service: a quality improvement project to reduce length of stay
  1. Nicholas Meo,
  2. Evan Paul,
  3. Christopher Wilson,
  4. Janice Powers,
  5. Marinette Magbual,
  6. Kari Mae Miles
  1. Hospital and Speciality Medicine, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nicholas Meo; nicholas.meo{at}va.gov

Abstract

Background Inefficient coordination of care around discharge can increase length of stay, lead to ineffective transitions and contribute an unnecessary cost burden to patients and hospital systems. Multidisciplinary discharge rounds can improve situational awareness among team members leading to more efficient and better coordinated care. This project aimed to standardise the daily discharge rounds occurring on a medicine service to reduce length of stay. Participants included physicians, nurses and social workers.

Methods A key driver diagram was developed to understand drivers of length of stay. Improving multidisciplinary care coordination was targeted as an initial area of focus. Stakeholder interviews were held to understand current participants challenges with the daily discharge rounds process. Baseline assessment included a review of discharges for 6 weeks before the initial intervention. A Plan Do Study Act quality improvement framework was used to implement change.

Intervention An electronic tool was developed which highlighted critical information to be captured during discharge rounds on each current inpatient in a standardised fashion. Information was reviewed and solicited from care teams by a facilitator, then edited and displayed in real time to all team members by a scribe.

Results The average length of stay decreased by 1.4 days (p<0.05), an improvement of 21.1%. There was no measured increase on readmission rate during the intervention period.

Conclusion An electronic tool to standardise information gathered among team members in daily discharge rounds led to improvements in length of stay. Multidisciplinary discharge rounds are an important venue for discharge planning across inpatient care teams and efforts to optimise communication between team members can improve care.

  • hospital medicine
  • transitions in care
  • communication

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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Footnotes

  • Contributors NM contributed to study design, monitored data collection, performed statistical analysis, analysed data, drafted and revised the paper. EP analysed data and revised the paper. CW contributed to study design, designed data tracking tools, monitored data collection, performed statistical analysis, analysed data and revised the paper. JP, MM and KM contributed to study design, analysed data and revised the paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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