Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 12(3) September 1999 : 6-12.doi:10.12927/cjnl.1999.19079

An Integrated Model of Discharge Planning for Acutely-Ill Elderly Patients

Donna L. Wells, Douglas K. Martin, Anne Moorhouse, Dorothy Craig and Julie M. Foley


Prior research has demonstrated that current discharge-related practices present resource-related and ethical problems for all those involved.

The purpose of this 9-month qualitative study was to develop a more resource efficient and compassionate discharge planning model for acutely-ill, elderly patients. The focus group interviewing method was used to elicit 99 participants' perceptions of an ideal approach to discharge planning. Focus group participants included professionals from acute-care hospitals and community organizations. Telephone interviews were also completed with 25 patients and 6 family members.

Themes identified in the analysis revealed that an ideal approach to discharge planning would incorporate seven elements. According to participants, the approach is ideal because it potentially addresses both resource utilization and ethical issues. Program evaluation of the model is underway in order to determine its effectiveness.

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