Patients' and professionals' perceptions of quality in discharge planning

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This article describes elderly patients' and health care professionals' perceptions of quality in discharge planning. Qualitative data were collected in semistructured interviews with a purposive sample of 25 elders who had been hospitalized for an acute episode of a chronic illness and 38 health care professionals. The constant comparative approach was used in analyzing the data. The findings indicate that both health professionals and patients identified process and outcome indicators of quality. Effective communication–a process that consisted of asking questions, getting answers, and questioning inconsistencies–was identified as a key component of successful discharge planning.

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