Journal Article

Hospital discharge documentation and risk of rehospitalisation.

Hansen LO, Strater A, Smith L, et al. BMJ quality & safety. 2011;20:773-8.

Communication between hospital-based and outpatient physicians is often suboptimal, and is thought to play a role in precipitating adverse events after discharge and rehospitalizations. However, this case-control study found that performance of several aspects of discharge communication—including medication reconciliation, discharge summary completion and quality, and patient education—did not decrease the risk of readmission. Other studies of specific discharge interventions, such as arranging outpatient follow-up or pharmacist review of medications, have also not affected readmission rates, meaning that preventable readmissions may only be reduced through more comprehensive (and resource-intensive) programs.