Ensuring safe discharge with a standardized checklist and discharge pause

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BEING DISCHARGED from the hospital is a critical point in a patient's continuum of care. It requires the coordinated involvement of the entire interprofessional team to ensure a safe and successful transition. Even with this coordinated approach, discharge is a transition point susceptible to error.1-3 As part of ongoing quality of care reviews, the acute medicine team at the Hamilton General Hospital (HGH), Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), analyzed data related to the discharge process and concluded that a lack of structured communication and safety checks may have contributed to errors or omissions. As a result, we embarked on a practice improvement project to address this need.
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