Discharge planning: the role of the discharge co-ordinator

Nurs Older People. 2009 Feb;21(1):26-31; quiz 32. doi: 10.7748/nop2009.


Research spanning 30 years has highlighted discharge planning as a complex area of practice. Discharge co-ordinators are part of the support provided to improve the patient's journey from acute to community settings. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the role of discharge co-ordinators in a healthcare setting. Using an exploratory descriptive research design a convenience sample of discharge co-ordinator nurses (n=6) across a variety of acute care settings in the Republic of Ireland, were interviewed. Thematic analysis revealed that the role of the discharge co-ordinators was multifaceted and a number of factors affected their role. Recommendations for practice include improved discharge planning processes and education.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Communication
  • Continuity of Patient Care / organization & administration*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Ireland
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Total Quality Management