Families’ readiness for discharge of their pre-term infant: a best practice implementation project

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Supporting and involving the families of pre-term infants’ in the discharge process provides them with confidence in caring for their infants at home. In an effort to facilitate families’ readiness for discharge, the neonatal unit (NU) of the Children's Hospital of Fudan University has implemented a best practice project.


The aim of this project was to integrate the best available evidence on facilitating families’ readiness for discharge into the nursing practice of the Children's Hospital of Fudan University.


The current evidence implementation project utilized the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System (PACES) and Getting Research into Practice audit (GRiP) and feedback tools. Nine audit criteria were established on the best available evidence. The project was divided into three phases and conducted over six months in the NU.


Follow-up audits showed significant improvements. The most significant improvements, 95% compliance, were found in family involvement on admission, formal assessment of the family's caregiving capabilities, psychosocial readiness, resource availability and preferred teaching style. A moderate increase was noted in identification of family members involved (65%), formal assessment of their learning needs (50%) and provision of tailored education (55%). A small increase of 25% in compliance was found for evaluation of the education.


The project led to various changes, such as early involvement of pre-term infants’ families, a formal assessment of their readiness for caring for infants and a tailored education program. Further audits will need to be carried out to sustain behavior change and monitor any areas for improvements.

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