The Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH) implemented the Post Discharge Phone Call (PDPC) Program in 2007/08 as a pilot project. In 2010, the program was adopted as a standard of care for discharged patients. This unique program’s primary aim is to improve patient safety in the transition from hospital to home. During the phone call, which occurs 24 to 48 hours after a patient has been discharged, the caller confirms that the patient understands and is following their discharge instructions. When needed, assistance is given in obtaining medication and medication counseling is provided. Follow-up and coordination of future appointments and travel arrangements are facilitated for patients needing this help. This program has resulted in a number of “good catches” where near misses are captured and patients have an opportunity to tell the hospital how we can improve care. Improvement recommendations are shared with managers, directors and physicians. The patient centered care committee (previously the patient satisfaction action team) incorporates this feedback as part of the hospital’s improvement strategies. The NRC Picker satisfaction scores for Continuity and Transition were 60.3% before the implementation of the pilot; at the completion of the one year pilot the score was 65.6%. When we stopped the program in 2009 due to lack of funding, the satisfaction scores dropped 55.8%. In 2010, when the hospital restarted the program, the score started to rise once again. For April 1-June 30, 2011 the score was 68.2%, which is above the provincial average 66.6%. This program has increased staff satisfaction for those performing the calls, it has provided important and timely feedback to managers and caregivers about their service, and it has improved the quality and experience of care for patients.
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