Background: Discharging hospitalized children involves several different components, but their relative value is unknown. We assessed which discharge components are perceived as most and least important by clinicians.
Methods: March and June of 2014, we conducted an online discrete choice experiment (DCE) among national societies representing 704 nursing, physician, case management, and social work professionals from 46 states. The DCE consisted of 14 discharge care components randomly presented two at a time for a total of 28 choice tasks. Best-worst scaling of participants' choices generated mean relative importance (RI) scores for each component, which allowed for ranking from least to most important.
Results: Participants, regardless of field or practice setting, perceived "Discharge Education/Teach-Back" (RI 11.1 [95% confidence interval, CI: 11.0-11.3]) and "Involve the Child's Care Team" (RI 10.6 [95% CI: 10.4-10.8]) as the most important discharge components, and "Information Reconciliation" (RI 4.1 [95% CI: 3.9-4.4]) and "Assigning Roles/Responsibilities of Discharge Care" (RI 2.8 [95% CI: 2.6-3.0]) as least important.
Conclusions: A diverse group of pediatric clinicians value certain components of the pediatric discharge care process much more than others. Efforts to optimize the quality of hospital discharge for children should consider these findings.