Family Members Can Help Patients Understand Hospital Discharge Instructions

Dennis Tsilimingras, M.D., M.P.H. Assistant Professor, Co-Director of Michigan AHEC (Area Health Education Center), Director of Patient Safety, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences Wayne State University School of Medicine Detroit, MichiganMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dennis Tsilimingras, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Professor,
Co-Director of Michigan AHEC (Area Health Education Center),
Director of Patient Safety,
Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Detroit, Michigan

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Tsilimingras: There has been little research to examine post-discharge adverse events (AEs) in rural patients discharged from community hospitals.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Dr. Tsilimingras: Over 28 % of 684 patients experienced postdischarge AEs, most of which were either preventable or ameliorable. There was no difference in the incidence of post-discharge AEs in urban versus rural patients, but post-discharge adverse events were associated with hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and number of secondary discharge diagnoses only in urban patients.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Tsilimingras: Post-discharge adverse events were common in both urban and rural patients and many were preventable or ameliorable. Potentially different risk factors for AEs in urban versus rural patients suggests the need for further research into the underlying causes. Patients should be accompanied by family members at the time of discharge to better understand post-discharge instructions.  Patients and family members should not be afraid to ask as many questions as possible regarding follow-up care in their community.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Tsilimingras: Potentially different risk factors for adverse events in urban versus rural patients suggests the need for further research into

the underlying causes. Different interventions may be required in urban versus rural patients to improve patient safety during transitions in care.

Citation:

Post-Discharge Adverse Events Among Urban and Rural Patients of an Urban Community Hospital: A Prospective Cohort Study.

Tsilimingras D1, Schnipper J, Duke A, Agens J, Quintero S, Bellamy G, Janisse J, Helmkamp L, Bates DW.

J Gen Intern Med. 2015 Mar 31. [Epub ahead of print]

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dennis Tsilimingras, M.D., M.P.H. (2015). Family Members Can Help Patients Understand Hospital Discharge Instructions