Validation of the Registered Nurse Assessment of Readiness for Hospital Discharge Scale

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BackgroundStatistical models for predicting readmissions have been published for high-risk patient populations but typically focus on patient characteristics; nurse judgment is rarely considered in a formalized way to supplement prediction models.ObjectivesThe purpose of this study was to determine psychometric properties of long and short forms of the Registered Nurse Readiness for Hospital Discharge Scale (RN-RHDS), including reliability, factor structure, and predictive validity.MethodsData were aggregated from two studies conducted at four hospitals in the Midwestern United States. The RN-RHDS was completed within 4 hours before hospital discharge by the discharging nurse. Data on readmissions and emergency department visits within 30 days were extracted from electronic medical records.ResultsThe RN-RHDS, both long and short forms, demonstrate acceptable reliability (Cronbach’s alphas of .90 and .73, respectively). Confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated less than adequate fit with the same four-factor structure observed in the patient version. Exploratory factor analysis identified three factors, explaining 60.2% of the variance. When nurses rate patients as less ready to go home (<7 out of 10), patients are 6.4–9.3 times more likely to return to the hospital within 30 days, in adjusted models.DiscussionThe RN-RHDS, long and short forms, can be used to identify medical-surgical patients at risk for potential unplanned return to hospital within 30 days, allowing nurses to use their clinical judgment to implement interventions prior to discharge. Use of the RN-RHDS could enhance current readmission risk prediction models.

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