The hospital discharge process plays a key role for patient care. CaRED (Careggi Re-Engineered Discharge) aimed at establishing a meaningful relationship among General Practitioners (GPs) and patients, throughout the discharge process. In this paper we describe the activities and results in the period 2014 – 2017.
CaRED is a restructured discharge protocol, which foresees a different, more direct form of communication between hospital and GPs, enabled by an ad-hoc electronic medical record. The 30-day hospital readmission rate and/or accesses to the emergency department were evaluated as proxy of effective communication. A pre-post survey was launched to assess the GPs’ perceived quality, and patient and family satisfaction.
A total of 1,549 hospitalizations were included, respectively 717 in the pre and 832 in the post intervention period. The 30-day hospital readmission rate decreased significantly in the post intervention period (14.4% vs 19.4%, χ2(1)=8.03, P<0.05).Eighty-two and 52 GPs participated, respectively, in the pre- and post- survey. In the post-phase the percentage of GPs declaring the discharge letter facilitated the communication on the admission causes (χ2(1)=0.56, P=0.03) and on what to do if conditions change (χ2(31)=19.0 P <0.01) significantly increased, as well as the perception of an easier contact with the hospitalist (χ2(3)=19.6, P <0.01).Two-hundred-eighty and 282 patients were enrolled in the pre- and post- survey. The level of understanding of key parts of the discharge letter (reason for hospitalization, post-discharge therapy, follow-up examinations and how to contact the hospital ward) improved significantly (P <0.01).
CaRED significantly improved the discharge process, and became a benchmark for local improvements in communication patterns with GPs.