There are some underlying issues that can make your patients’ hospital stay miserable. Some of them may be within your grasp to tackle.

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There are some underlying issues that can make your patients’ hospital stay miserable

Discharge before noon is still a work in progress at many hospitals, research indicates.

However, there are some underlying issues that can make your patients’ hospital stay miserable. Some of them may be within your grasp to tackle.

Waiting to be discharged

The patient has recovered from his illness or procedure, is stable, and cannot wait to go home. But wait, they will!

In many hospitals, the discharge process can slow down, plunging patient satisfaction scores. For example, the consulting firm SBTI recently published about an Indiana hospital in which only 47.6% of discharged patients rated the timeliness of discharge as “very good.” The problem is not unique to the United States. A 2021 Singapore Health Proceedings study found that among a study sample of 218 patients, 61.1% experienced discharge delays.

What slows down the process?

Often times, it is time. Many hospitals have experimented with discharging patients before noon. Of course, noon in most hospitals is prime time.

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Morning operating room cases are heading to patient floors, activity in the emergency department increases as people become ill and injured during the day, and other doctors send patients for admission. Suddenly, a discharge at noon, which in many cases is scheduled for the previous afternoon, turns into 3 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm …

Of course, patient discharge is a complex process in which the physician plays only a small part. So what can a doctor do to speed things up?

An American Journal of Responsible Care study aims to start the process as soon as possible. The researchers analyzed the discharge records of 1,707 patients who had undergone colorectal surgery.

The researchers concluded that discharge orders in the early morning increased the time required to discharge patients and created a backlog of discharges. Given these findings, if the goal is to discharge by noon, a doctor could speed things up by sending the order early.

Discharge before noon is still a work in progress at many hospitals, research indicates.

Fear of infection

COVID-19 made many a little more germophobic. But what effect did it have on healthcare associated infections (HAI)? In a 2021 Clinical Infectious Diseases study, researchers analyzed 148 hospitals over 7 months to identify any associations between COVID-19 surges and HAIs.

They found:

  1. A 60% increase in central line-associated bloodstream infections
  2. 43% more catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  3. 44% more MRSA infections

A significant association between sudden increases in COVID-19 and hospital-onset bloodstream infections. And multidrug resistant organisms

“COVID-19 surges have an adverse impact on HAI rates and clusters of infections within hospitals. This emphasizes the need to balance COVID-related demands with the prevention of routine hospital infections, ”the researchers concluded.

There are a couple of things that clinicians can do to reassure patients and increase compliance with hand hygiene.

A 2017 pediatric safety and quality study suggests that remembering your colleagues can help. The 4-year study involved more than 30,000 hand hygiene observations, 9% of which included visits and 12% of which included residents.

Just by having volunteers remind healthcare workers to wash their hands, compliance increased from 75% to over 95%. A 2018 Journal of Infection Control study indicates that physicians are more likely than nurses and other healthcare professionals to need external hand hygiene reminders.

Related Notes:

WHO says there are NO deaths from Omicron strain

DosisPedia, an app for Pediatricians

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