An Assessment of Discharge Instructions and the Teach-Back Method on a Medical/Surgical Unit
Purpose: A quality improvement project was conducted to improve the discharge process through conducting a baseline assessment of Registered Nurses’ discharge documentation and teach-back methods. This was accomplished by a post-discharge record review to audit the documentation of discharge patient education and use of teach-back strategies following topics with standardized education content that meets national guidelines.|Background: Older adults are at high risk for complications during times of care transitions or discharge. It is estimated that 60% will manage at least one chronic medical condition by 2030 (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2012). Older adult patients within a Medical Surgical inpatient unit often have difficulty understanding discharge instructions. This population could benefit from a teach-back process to complement standardized discharge education sheets to reduce post-discharge complications.|Methods: Descriptive retrospective design with N = 233 older adults in an inpatient medical surgical unit located in Omaha Nebraska. Findings: It was found that of the 233 patients included in the chart review, 36 (15.5%) were readmitted within 30 days. The teach-back method was utilized for 100% of patients per documentation, yet only 1.7% of these patients had documented additional teaching provided at discharge.|Conclusions: The findings of this project indicate the need for further education among nursing staff on the proper use of the teach-back method as well as use of other educational resources to determine impact on the discharge process.
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