Fall GME Spotlight

Development and Implementation of a Patient-Centered Discharge Curriculum

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Principal Investigator:
Roy C. Ziegelstein, MD, Diversity Council of the
Department of Medicine Chair, Department of Medicine Executive Vice-Chair
Deputy Director of Education

Hospital discharge is a complex process for patients, nurses, and physicians. However, it has been underemphasized in terms of physician training and allocation of institutional resources and time. To ensure the safety of patients when they leave the hospital, it is important to discharge patients in a careful, thorough, and patient-centered manner, but reality often does not match this ideal. Incorporating the patient’s perspective and concerns is a key component of a safe discharge, but traditionally this has been overlooked in the busy hospital setting. The Patient-Centered Discharge Curriculum, which was develop and implemented by a multi-disciplinary team at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, empowers patients to participate more fully with the medical team in their health care.

Always Events: The inclusion of patients and the patients’ perspective should always be included in discharge communication and the discharge summary should always be provided to the patient.
Overview: In this project, a patient-centered discharge curriculum will be developed and the effects studied in an effort to ensure better care coordination, communication, and patient education at the time of discharge home or transfer to a post-acute setting. This project will be implemented on the Aliki Team, this is a 4-week rotation whose aim is to solidify the importance of getting to know one’s patient as a person. If this project is found to improve trainees’ knowledge, attitudes and practice, and also to improve patients’ health outcomes, it will be implemented throughout the department and then in other departments as well. The overall goal of this curriculum will be to teach interns and residents the skills and attitudes necessary to facilitate safe, effective, patient-centered transitions of care. It is hypothesized that an additional critical element for safe, effective, transitions of care is the inclusion of the patient and significant others as full partners in discharge planning. This project proposes that the inclusion of the patient, and the patient’s perspective, in the discharge communication be an Always Event™.

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