A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials showed that communication interventions at discharge were associated with significantly lower readmission rates in intervention groups, according to the results of a recent study published in JAMA Network Open.

The PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL databases were systematically searched for randomized clinical trials that compared outcomes for patients receiving a discharge communication intervention vs a control group. The primary outcome was hospital readmission; secondary outcomes included adherence to treatment regimen, patient satisfaction, mortality, and emergency department reattendance 30 days after hospital discharge.

A total of 3953 patients were represented in the 19 randomized clinical trials analyzed for the primary outcome. Researchers found that communication interventions at discharge were associated with significantly lower readmission rates, which were 9.1% in the intervention groups compared with 13.5% in the control groups. Furthermore, the intervention groups also exhibited higher adherence to treatment regimens and higher patient satisfaction.


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The study authors wrote, “Communication interventions at hospital discharge are important to facilitate the transition of care….health care systems should implement such communication strategies at discharge to facilitate the transition of care.”

Reference

Becker C, Zumbrunn S, Beck K, et al. Interventions to Improve Communication at Hospital Discharge and Rates of Readmission: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(8):e2119346. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.19346