The reduction of length of stay in hospitals and the increasing trend towards extramural health care has led to emphasis being placed on the development of health care models promoting continuity of care. 'Discharge management' is structured and patient-oriented preparation for hospital discharge that expands the interdisciplinary collaboration among hospital professionals and between intra- and extramural health care workers. This study examines the effectiveness of discharge management in Belgian general hospitals in preventing rehospitalisation and institutionalisation of geriatric patients. This quasi-experimental study included 825 geriatric patients (n = 356 in the experimental group; n = 469 in the control group). For the experimental patients, discharge management was applied during hospitalisation, while the control patients received the standard preparation for discharge. Variables were measured at hospital admission, at discharge, at 14 days, and at 90 days after discharge. In the experimental group, significantly more patients were discharged to home and fewer were institutionalised than in the control group. This difference between the experimental and the control group was also observed at 14 and 90 days after discharge. Multivariate analysis showed that discharge management was, indeed, a factor in the prevention of institutionalisation. The number of rehospitalisations was not reduced. This study demonstrated that discharge management is able to reduce the rate of institutionalisation. Therefore, discharge management should be implemented for this frail patient population.
|Translated title of the contribution||The effectiveness of discharge management in Belgian health care: Research results of general hospitals|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1999|
- Competence management
- Mental health care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy