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Editor's Correspondence
August 13/27, 2001

Thoughtful Discharge Planning for Better Outcomes

Arch Intern Med. 2001;161(15):1917-1918. doi:

Rothschild and colleagues1 admirably explored the topic of preventable injuries in elderly patients. Discharge planning may be fraught with more potential hazards than appear at first glance. For instance, the medication instruction sheets that are given to patients upon discharge are often written in small print, making them difficult, if not impossible, for the visually impaired patient to read. Additionally, instructions are frequently mistakenly written with medical abbreviations that a patient cannot comprehend. These issues can result in avoidable readmissions due to inappropriate use of medications. It might be useful for individual hospitals to study their discharge planning protocols and readmission rates and causes to see if modifications are advisable in these areas to ensure greater patient safety and compliance.

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