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January 19, 2011

Policy Options to Improve Discharge Planning and Reduce Rehospitalization

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research, Brown University (Drs Mor and Besdine); and Department of Community Health (Drs Mor and Besdine) and Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics (Dr Besdine), Brown University Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island.

JAMA. 2011;305(3):302-303. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.2006

Frail older patients and their families are generally unprepared for the flurry of activity that occurs during a hospitalization and for how quickly they must decide where to go at discharge. Hospital discharge is not the time to undertake the extended process of long-term care planning and goals clarification. The biggest challenge patients and families face as they decide their discharge destination is to establish realistic goals of care in the absence of coherent information about their prognosis and options. This decision is particularly important because of the weighty implications of their choices.

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