Discharge communication practices and healthcare provider and patient preferences, satisfaction and comprehension: A systematic review

Harvey Newnham, Anna Barker, Edward Ritchie, Karen Hitchcock, Harry Gibbs, Sara Holton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


To systematically review the available evidence about hospital discharge communication practices and identify which practices were preferred by patients and healthcare providers, improved patient and provider satisfaction, and increased patients’ understanding of their medical condition.
Data sources
OVID Medline, Web of Science, ProQuest, PubMed and CINAHL plus.
Study selection
Databases were searched for peer-reviewed, English-language papers, published to August 2016, of empirical research using quantitative or qualitative methods. Reference lists in the papers meeting inclusion criteria were searched to identify further papers.
Data extraction
Of the 3489 articles identified, 30 met inclusion criteria and were reviewed.
Results of data synthesis
Much research to date has focused on the use of printed material and person-based discharge communication methods including verbal instructions (either in person or via telephone calls). Several studies have examined the use of information technology (IT) such as computer-generated and video-based discharge communication practices. Utilizing technology to deliver discharge information is preferred by healthcare providers and patients, and improves patients’ understanding of their medical condition and discharge instructions.
Well-designed IT solutions may improve communication, coordination and retention of information, and lead to improved outcomes for patients, their families, caregivers and primary healthcare providers as well as expediting the task for hospital staff.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbermzx121
Pages (from-to)752-768
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

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