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These instructions provide patients with critical information on how to manage themselves in terms of medication, diet and which symptoms should prompt the patient to return back (Lee & Bokovoy, 2005). Issuing of discharge instructions to patients is a key requirement of health care facilities by the health accreditation institutions such as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations-JCAHO (JCAHO, 2007). Despite holding to this requirement, it is widely reported that patients fail to comprehend or remember the discharge instructions. This is contributed by both parties: practitioners failing to elaborate clearly the instructions and patients failing to follow the instructions. This paper is a concept of comprehension that focuses on discharge instructions and how patient’s comprehension of these instructions affects their outcome. Concept of Comprehension on Discharge Instructions Discharge instructions refer to instructions given to patients upon discharge from hospital. These instructions detail diagnostic information and measures to be taken. As noted by Forster et al. (2004) close to a quarter of patients discharged experienced adverse cases in a span of one month. These events were medication errors, orders/prescriptions filling, confusing discharge instructions, neglect of following unresolved cases and infections. Some of these effects were preventable whereas others called for further treatment probably half of the effects. Moreover, Forster et al asserted that a third of the events were linked with disability (Forster et al., 2004). According to Zavala et al. (2011) 78 percent of discharged patients from emergency department failed to fully comprehend the discharge instructions. However, 20 percent acknowledged they did not understand the discharge instructions. This was achieved from a study conducted in a healthcare facility in Virginia, Reston Hospital Center. This study focused to reach the discharged patients from the facility in order to get their understanding of discharge instructions and its effect. A fifth of the patients interviewed did not understand the discharge instructions based on the medicine described. Additional 9 patients reported worsened and continued symptoms where they were reminded to follow up treatment. A few patients reported their discomfort about the discharge instructions and some did not receive the discharge instructions (Zavala et al., 2011). Understanding as well as memorizing discharge instructions is very challenging. This is associated with several aspects such as discomfort and literacy levels. Relative to discomfort, patients and their surrogates are filled with various discomforts emotionally and physically. More specifically, patients and their surrogates are filled with excitement of leaving hospital. This carries away their attention and thus they are less concerned about the discharge instructions. Additionally, the busy hospital environment during discharge also causes discomfort to the patient/patient surrogates and distracts their attention to discharge instruction. In such a situation, the busy physicians assume patients understand the instructions and to further complement this health brochures are given. Majority of patients obtain and understand little of these information from the health brochures. This creates great disparity between the reading and literacy level ...Show more
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Concept Analysis of Discharge Instructions Name: Institution: Introduction The process of patients discharge from health care facilities is quite complex. This process involves medical practitioners like the physicians, nurses, therapists, and care coordinators (Smith, Fields, & Fernandez, 2010)…
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