An evaluation of whether discharge plans meet patients’ requirements: A survey

Ms Kate Roberts1, Ms Rachel Dempsey2, Ms Amanda Wurfel3, Dr Kathy Stiller1

1Central Adelaide Local Health Network, Adelaide, Australia

2Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre, Adelaide, Australia

3St Margaret’s Rehabilitation Hospital, Adelaide, Australia


Aim: The provision of discharge plans that meet the requirements of individual patients’ needs are an essential component of rehabilitation, with allied health a vital component of rehabilitation. There is little research investigating the effectiveness of discharge planning in this setting. The aim of this quality improvement activity was to survey patients to investigate whether discharge plans met their requirements, identify factors predicting the success of discharge planning and investigate whether the perceptions of patients and a family member/carer regarding the success of discharge planning were in agreement.

Method: Forty patients discharged home from units within two rehabilitation hospitals were recruited. Patient surveys, undertaken via interviews, were conducted to determine participants’ satisfaction with their discharge planning: one pre-discharge and the other 1-2 months post-discharge.

Results: Overall, discharge plans, in which allied health staff played a pivotal role, were successfully developed and implemented. Most items that were listed on participants’ discharge plans were provided, required and met participants’ requirements. The success of discharge planning did not appear to be influenced by factors including age, gender, length of stay, primary diagnosis, functional scores or home address. Participants and a family member/carer had a high level of agreement regarding the success of discharge planning.

Significance of the findings to allied health: Allied health staff play a pivotal role in discharge planning in the rehabilitation setting. The discharge plans of participants involved in this quality improvement activity accurately identified patients’ needs, and the actions identified were provided and met the requirements of participants.