Mark Williams, MD, one of the study authors, suggests that administrators learn how transition are handled in their institution if they don't already know. He suggests they find out whether staff are engaged in the practice of "teach back" with patients and with each other.
Clinicians explaining discharge instructions should be follow up with something like this, he says. "'Teach it back to me. Tell me, what you are supposed to do when you leave the hospital.'"
Williams thinks getting confirmation of understanding, a skill called "readback," is critical. He notes that some hospitals have made it a core competency for nurses.
It also happens to be the skill that providers at Mass General have found to be the most challenging feature of the I-PASS approach to implement.
Many clinician "find it awkward," and unworkable in discharges that don't occur face-to-face methods, according to the study.
McKee at The Joint Commission says, "there is a lot of opportunity for improvement" in the way the C-suite addresses this issue. They should be overseeing the process.
Tinker Ready is a contributing writer at HealthLeaders Media.