Development of a checklist of safe discharge practices for hospital patients.
The hospital discharge process is often disorganized and lacks standardization. As a result, adverse events after hospital discharge are disturbingly common. This study reports on a multidisciplinary, collaborative effort—involving hospitalists, primary care physicians, home care and bedside nurses, and pharmacists—to develop a standardized hospital discharge checklist. The resulting tool is designed to be used daily during hospitalization as part of interprofessional discharge planning rounds and consists of seven domains that address key aspects of the hospital-to-home transition, including medication reconciliation and communication between physicians. Further validation will be required to demonstrate that this checklist can prevent adverse events in broad hospitalized patient populations.