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Does a discharge to assess programme introduced in England meet the quadruple aim of service improvement?

Stuart Jeffery (Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)
Julie MacInnes (Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)
Lavinia Bertini (Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, UK)
Susie Walker (Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)

Journal of Integrated Care

ISSN: 1476-9018

Article publication date: 3 June 2022

Issue publication date: 7 February 2023

347

Abstract

Purpose

This paper intends to examine and evaluate the implementation and delivery of a discharge to assess pathway based on the UK Department of Health and Social Care Hospital Discharge Policy in relation to the quadruple aim of healthcare improvement: improving patient experience, reducing costs, benefiting the wider population and improving the work life of staff.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a place based partnership in the south of England, 18 staff involved the delivery of discharge to assess and four patients who had recently been through the pathway were interviewed and the narratives analysed using a framework method.

Findings

All four dimensions of the quadruple aim were felt to be positively impacted by the discharge to assess pathway in varying degrees. Staff described improvements to working lives; patients described a positive experience. There was no evidence of reduced costs and wider benefit through reduced length of stay was suggested rather than demonstrated. The study showed a need to ensure both information flows and discharge process are smooth, that there is sufficient community capacity and capability, a need for strong relationships and shared goals, for clarity of pathway and empowered staff, and for an avoidance of the over prescription of care.

Originality/value

The revised discharge to assess pathway in England has been in place since 2020 and no other assessments of the pathway were found that related the changes to the quadruple aim framework.

Keywords

Citation

Jeffery, S., MacInnes, J., Bertini, L. and Walker, S. (2023), "Does a discharge to assess programme introduced in England meet the quadruple aim of service improvement?", Journal of Integrated Care, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 16-25. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICA-02-2022-0018

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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