Discharge planning and patient satisfaction in an emergency short-stay unit

Emerg Med Australas. 2006 Feb;18(1):7-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-6723.2006.00798.x.


Objectives: To determine the adequacy of discharge planning from an emergency short-stay unit (ESSU), and patient knowledge of and satisfaction with the ESSU.

Methods: Prospective follow up of patients discharged from an ESSU using patient surveys and a computerized patient information system, with descriptive and comparative data analysis.

Results: Eighty-five per cent of respondents stated that they received adequate discharge instruction, and 89% that they benefited from their ESSU admission. However, 29% of patients made unscheduled visits to another medical practitioner post discharge and 9% were readmitted to hospital for the same problem with which they were discharged from the ESSU. Patient satisfaction with all aspects of care in the ESSU was high.

Conclusions: Most patients discharged from an ESSU are provided with adequate discharge instruction, but a sizeable proportion require subsequent medical care for the same problem after discharge. Patient satisfaction with all aspects of care in an ESSU is high.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New South Wales
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies