Australian public hospital inpatient satisfaction related to early patient involvement and shared decision-making in discharge planning
Background: Surveys of hospital inpatient satisfaction may help develop actionable plans for quality improvement, and patients have preferred to give feedback during admission at the point of service compared to after discharge. However, patient satisfaction measurement has often been done by questionnaires post-discharge, and without focusing on an Australian General Internal Medicine setting.
Aims: To understand patients' perceptions of their admission experiences in an Australian public teaching hospital's General Internal Medicine unit, and to understand opportunities for quality improvement.
Methods: A prospective study of 50 inpatients of a General Internal Medical unit at an Australian public teaching hospital was carried out using a patient satisfaction questionnaire given to patients on the day of discharge.
Results: Patients perceived deficits in early communication about discharge destination planning, and provision of written discharge instructions. Responses highlighted the importance of checking with patients to elicit further information that was not previously captured during initial history-taking, patient-centred communication to enable informed consent and decision making, use of language readily understandable to laypersons, and checking for patients' understanding of messages as communicated by the treating clinician.
Conclusions: In an Australian General Internal Medicine service, early involvement and shared decision-making in discharge planning are valued by patients. Incorporating checking of patients' understanding of diagnoses, management, discharge instructions, and follow-up plans into ward round routines may benefit patient satisfaction. This study stimulates further research into use of a proforma to capture and check patients' understanding of discharge diagnoses and plans.
Publication titleInternal Medicine Journal
Department/SchoolTasmanian School of Medicine
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Asia
Place of publication54 University St, P O Box 378, Carlton, Australia, Victoria, 3053
Rights statementCopyright 2020 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/