Patients' Reasons for Returning to ER Differ From Predicted

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Patients' reasons for returning to the emergency department after discharge from an internal medicine unit include being discharged too soon and feeling weak.
Patients' reasons for returning to the emergency department after discharge from an internal medicine unit include being discharged too soon and feeling weak.

HealthDay News -- Patients' reasons for returning to the emergency department after discharge from an internal medicine unit include being discharged too soon and feeling weak, and these reasons differ from those predicted by the liaison nurse clinician's evaluation, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Molywan Vat, RN, from McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues conducted a qualitative, descriptive study to examine the reasons for returning to the emergency department soon after discharge from an internal medicine unit. They compared eight patients' reasons with data from the liaison nurse clinician's risk assessment tools used for discharge planning.

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The researchers found that for most patients, being discharged too soon, feeling weak at discharge, having limited help at home with managing chronic illness, and inadequate discharge instructions accounted for the return to the emergency department. There was a difference between the participants' reasons for returning and those predicted by the liaison nurse clinician's evaluation.

"The findings suggest that health care professionals should adopt a standardized process to evaluate several components of the patients' health status before their discharge, such as physical autonomy, remission of symptoms and the patients' ability to manage their care," the authors wrote.

Reference

Vat M, Common C, Laizner A, Borduas C, Maheu C. Reasons for returning to the emergency department following discharge from an internal medicine unit: perspectives of patients and the liaison nurse clinician. J Clin Nurs. 2015:n/a-n/a. doi:10.1111/jocn.13011.

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