Evidence Based Practice: Patient Discharge Education Barriers to Patient Education
Evidence-based guidelines for discharge instructions, when successfully administered, reduce readmission rates in patients, leading to improved quality of life and economic savings. Unfortunately, effective delivery is complex and time consuming, placing a high demand on already overworked bedside nurses. Failure to provide complete discharge instructions can result in non adherence to patient treatment regimens and lack of essential follow-up, the most commonly identified reasons for readmissions. To improve quality of care, hospitals need to adopt a new model that incorporates delivery of intensive, one on one education to patients during the hospital stay with continuing support, guidance, and education throughout the transition from hospital to home. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the education provided by a staff registered nurse and a clinical patient educator, a registered nurse who specializes in specific disease processes. An exploratory descriptive study design was used to examine and describe the perception of registered nurses regarding discharge education provided by a clinical patient educator who specializes in disease processes versus that provided by a staff registered nurse. An Independent samples t test was conducted comparing the mean of each survey question for those working in acute care to those not working in acute care. Only two survey questions' mean answers were statistically significantly different between the two groups. Those nurses not working in acute care felt more strongly that they spent, on average, more than 30 minutes with discharge teaching than those working in acute care , (t (22) = -2.83, p = .01). Those nurses working in acute care felt more strongly that they spent less than 30 minutes with discharge teaching than those nurses not working in acute care, (t (22) =2.59, p =.01.