The desired outcome of health care provision can only be known by evaluating care from the perspective of the consumer. An exploratory study was undertaken to develop and evaluate a research instrument (a semistructured telephone interview guide) as a measure of patient outcomes in discharge planning. A sample of 29 patients was recruited from three medical wards of a large tertiary referral teaching hospital in Sydney, Australia. Participants were contacted at home after discharge from hospital and interviewed by telephone. Their perceptions of hospital discharge and continuing care needs were investigated. Preliminary analysis of the data obtained in the pilot study demonstrated that there were deficiencies in hospital discharge procedures which impacted on continuing care and that patients can contribute useful information for evaluating and improving discharge planning.