Patient Satisfaction and the Discharge Process

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Patient Satisfaction and the Discharge Process

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Patient Satisfaction and the Discharge Process
Evidence-Based Best Practices


Paul Alexander Clark, MPA    

Leaving the hospital setting can be the single most stressful moment of the entire hospital experience—both for patients and their families. Research proves that patients’ perception of the discharge process an important component to overall satisfaction and loyalty—the final impression of the healthcare experience.

  • How prepared does the patient feel to leave the hospital?
  • How quickly is the discharge process executed?
  • How much thought is given to the self-care instructions the patient takes home? 
  • What kind of home care or follow-up services are set in place?

Press Ganey has all the right answers!

Press Ganey Associates, the recognized national leader in patient satisfaction and quality research, has developed the hands-on, how-to guide you need to improve your facility’s discharge process: Patient Satisfaction and the Discharge Process: Evidence-Based Best Practices.

Jam-packed with best practices Pulled from data gathered from tens of thousands of patient survey responses in more than 6,000 facilities nationwide, Patient Satisfaction and the Discharge Process offers a collection of strategies for providing a successful discharge experience for your patients.

The facts you need to improve your discharge planning process

The second book in The Press Ganey Series, Patient Satisfaction and the Discharge Process: Evidence-Based Best Practices delivers 120 pages dedicated to helping healthcare administrators and professionals make measurable improvements to their facility discharge planning process.

Based on the best, evidence-based research available

For the first time, Patient Satisfaction and the Discharge Process brings together the key national studies and the standards of leading agencies—including CMS, the Joint Commission, and the AMA—on discharge process.  No other resource offers the applicable data, relevant research, and proven strategies to aid you in quickly and effectively implementing your discharge planning program under HCAHPS—CMS’ new initiative to publicly report patient perceptions of care.

After reading this book, you will be able to

  • define the differences between patient causes and hospital causes of dissatisfaction with the discharge process.
  • describe the key elements of the AMA Guidance on the components of a quality discharge process.
  • list three things hospitals may do that make patients feel rushed
  • describe two things hospitals do to cause low scores on patient satisfaction with the speed of discharge.
  • identify three questions staff can ask patients that may elicit unspoken concerns or needs.
  • describe five basic living activities that the patient will face post-discharge and that may lead them to not feel confident that they can care for themselves
  • discuss why it is important to have variation in educational resources
  • create an outline for an effective family caregiver assessment
  • describe the potential impact of post-discharge callbacks and home visits on patient concerns about unanticipated needs arising post-discharge.
  • describe the role and use of “education nurses” at one hospital to successfully improve follow-up and patient satisfaction.

The Length-of-Stay correlation

The best practices found in Patient Satisfaction and the Discharge Process have also been identified as key factors for reducing length of stay, improving patient flow, and positively impacting financial outcomes for your hospital. By developing the know-how to improve your discharge planning process and shorten the length of stay for patients, you can achieve better overall quality of care ratings for your facility.

Who should read this book?

  • Directors and Managers of Quality
  • Patient Satisfaction Directors and Patient Representatives
  • Risk Managers
  • Directors of Nursing
  • Directors of Case Management
  • Social Workers and Discharge Planners
  • Chief Nursing Officers 


Chapter 1: What does the data say
Chapter 2:Readiness for discharge
Chapter 3: The speed of discharge
Chapter 4:Clear instructions on self care
Chapter 5:Arrangements for follow-up care and home care
Chapter 6: Best practices for focused improvement

About the author

Paul Alexander Clark, MPA is the Senior Knowledge Manager for Press Ganey Associates.  He directs a team of researchers who conduct quantitative and qualitative research to determine best practices for improving patient, employee, and physician satisfaction in health care. His team’s research supports more than 100 Press Ganey Consultants who actively partner with health care organizations to help improve the service they provide to patients, employees, and physicians. Clark earned a Master of Public Administration in science and technology policy from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and is working to complete a Master of Arts in Bioethics and Healthcare Policy at the Loyola University in Chicago.

Faculty Disclosure: All faculty participating in continuing education provided by HCPro activities are expected to disclose to the learner any real or apparent commercial financial affiliations related to their presentations and materials.

Published: September 2006

About Press Ganey

Press Ganey is the health care industry’s largest independent vendor of satisfaction measurement and improvement services. They specialize in producing tested and reliable satisfaction surveys, comprehensive management reports, and national comparative databases to monitor customer (patient, resident, physician, and employee) satisfaction in health care delivery systems. Founded in 1985 and headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, Press Ganey serves approximately 6,000 health care facilities, which includes 1,454 hospitals or more than 30% of the total acute care market.

Continuing Education:

If you would like to find out about the availability of nursing contact hours on this or any other HCPro nursing book, please visit our Continuing Education information page, here.