A Survey of Patient Education Postdischarge

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Through a telephone survey, the Discharge Call Service (DCS) was instituted with 206 patients discharged from two medical-surgical nursing units. The purposes of the survey were to (1) improve patient outcomes by assessing patient perceptions of their recuperation progress after discharge, (2) assess the patient's post discharge educational needs, (3) provide additional information concerning diagnosis, treatment, or medications requested by the patient, and (4) direct patients to the appropriate medical center or community resource as needed for further assistance or education. In general, patients believed their medical status was progressing as expected; nevertheless almost half of the patients surveyed needed additional information or specific directions concerning their self-care. Findings suggest the DCS is an effective strategy to enhance the patient's ability for self-care after discharge. The DCS is also an easily implemented and cost-effective enhancement of hospital patient education and health promotion activities.

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