Care Transitions: Using Narratives to Assess Continuity of Care Provided to Older Patients after Hospital Discharge

Carolyn Wong, David B. Hogan

Abstract


Background

A common scenario that may pose challenges to primary care providers is when an older patient has been discharged from hospital. The aim of this pilot project is to examine the experiences of patients’ admission to hospital through to discharge back home, using analysis of patient narratives to inform the strengths and weaknesses of the process.

Methods

For this qualitative study, we interviewed eight subjects from the Sheldon M. Chumir Central Teaching Clinic (CTC). Interviews were analyzed for recurring themes and phenomena. Two physicians and two resident learners employed at the CTC were recruited as a focus group to review the narrative transcripts.

Results

Narratives generally demonstrated moderate satisfaction among interviewees with respect to their hospitalization and follow-up care in the community. However, the residual effects of their hospitalization surprised five patients, and five were uncertain about their post-discharge management plan.

Conclusion

Both secondary and primary care providers can improve on communicating the likely course of recovery and follow-up plans to patients at the time of hospital discharge. Our findings add to the growing body of research advocating for the implementation of quality improvement measures to standardize the discharge process.


Keywords


patient narratives; primary care; hospital discharge; older patients

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5770/cgj.19.229

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ISSN: 1925-8348 (Online)