Nurses Identify Home Care Clients’ Unmet Posthospital Information Needs

March 29, 2013 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​In a study in the April 2013 BMJ Quality and Safety, home care nurses identified older clients’ information and communication needs that often go unmet immediately after hospital discharge and could contribute to readmissions. First, a panel of nurses created a list of 28 issues involving information and communication needs (e.g., diseases or conditions, medications, communication problems). A survey was created based on the list; 119 nurses responded, indicating the frequency and potential for impact on readmissions for each need. The respondents identified many needs that were both frequent and had a potentially high impact on readmissions, several of which have received little attention in readmissions literature. They included information about medication regimens (e.g., reason for taking, side effects, costs, confusion over brand-name versus generic, risks of nonadherence), understanding of disease severity, understanding of functional limitations, conflicting information from clinicians, information overload, knowledge of home safety measures, use of durable medical equipment, understanding of wound care, understanding of the need for home care nursing, and understanding of the nurse’s role.

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